Finding direction at the St. Anthony Shrine
Growing up in Northern Kentucky, I was not familiar with the National Shrine of St. Anthony and Friary in Ohio, even though it was only a few miles away, and despite the fact that St. Anthony is one of the first saints that I heard about growing up. Sometimes the Ohio River seems wider than it actually is!
My grandmother sang St. Anthony’s praises, as do my parents and their friends, for helping them find lost things. He was not just a finder of “things.” He was the finder of people with his gift of oratory, his humility, and courage. The Shrine is a beacon for a new generation of people seeking peace and authenticity in life and in spirituality.
I am a later vocation, coming to the friars in my forties after having worked professionally. One day I took a long lunch break and drove to the Shrine. It was at the Shrine that I met the vocation director, and at the Shrine that I attended vocation retreats. Friar Raphael Ozoude and I attended a retreat there together, and we both entered the Franciscan Order the same year. St. Anthony was calling me to this special place and to the Franciscans.
Let this Novena to St. Anthony be a special time for you to receive the graces of God through the intercession of St. Anthony. Peace and all Good!
(Br. Matt Ryan, OFM, is a temporary professed friar and student living in Chicago.)
Pray the Novena to St. Anthony of Padua here.
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