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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"The Lord Opened His Mouth In The Assembly"


In traditional piety today is St Anthony's day - Tuesday. Like many others I light my candle at the statue of the Saint in the church here and say my prayers, invoking his help and, if I have time, I'll try and dip into his Sermons for some gems to ruminate on throughout the day - and there are always gems. As you know, for me Anthony is the great teacher in the way of the Scriptures - the Evangelical Doctor as Pope Pius XII designated him. 

As a man of the Word of God he was called by the Lord, through his superiors, to preach the Gospels, which he did with great eloquence and learning, drawing on images to keep his congregations engaged and offering practical means of living the Gospel, and so many turned back to God. Given that God used Anthony's preaching to touch the hearts of so many it was seen as appropriate that the Saint's tongue and vocal chords should be discovered to be incorrupt. Today both organs are preserved in reliquaries, and with one, the tongue, an interesting devotion has developed thanks to the piety of St Bonaventure.

When the remains of Anthony were first examined in 1263 St Bonaventure, when he saw the incorrupt tongue declared: "O blessed tongue, you who have always praised the Lord and made others praise Him, now it is clearly evident how much merit you have before the Lord!" It has become a pious invocation offered in honour of Anthony's eloquent preaching of the Word of God. Such invocations remind us of the power of the Gospel and how it should become a living reality in our lives. Anthony's tongue is a symbol of its proclamation in flesh, our lives should be a sign of its effectiveness, we are to become the Gospel in flesh. Like Anthony we should use our tongues in the service of the Gospel - the tongue is the most dangerous weapon known to mankind, it needs careful managing hence the psalm prays "keep watch over my mouth". 

So, for the day that is in it, I offer you some prayers in honour of St Anthony's tongue. There are different novenas and triduums, but this is one I found usually offered over thirteen days. I will post the whole prayer so you can copy it and use it as is convenient. 


Prayers In Honor Of The Blessed Tongue Of St. Anthony

(They can be recited for an exercise of thirteen Tuesdays in his honor, or during thirteen days in succession, or the first nine can be used for a nine day Novena.)

First Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord and cause others to bless Him! To reward thee God has glorified thy tongue by granting to it upon this earth the favor of incorruptibility which has continued for seven centuries. I bless thy tongue, I venerate it with the same sentiments of faith, devotion and love that animated Saint Bonaventure when he kissed it, praised it, blessed it and venerated it. I thank the Lord Who has sanctified thy tongue, rendering it miraculous and glorious on earth, and I beg Him to grant a true devotion toward thee, that I may merit thy protection during this life, in all my spiritual and corporal needs, and merit also to rise again with all the Saints.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Second Day

O Blessed Tongue, which always did bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, now does it appear plainly how highly thou were esteemed by God. O marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord and cause others to bless, praise, thank and pray to Him, I bless and venerate thee, I thank God Who created thy tongue and sanctified it by His grace, and I implore Him, through thy merits, to purify and sanctify my tongue, that by it I may continually praise, bless and thank the Lord, and never offend Him.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Third Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, without ever offending Him, by words or guilty conversations, I bless and venerate thee, and thanking God Who preserved thee from all sins of the tongue implore Him through thy merits, to preserve my tongue from every sinful word and discourse.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Fourth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always receive Jesus in His Sacrament worthily, I bless and venerate thee, thanking God Who has sanctified thee by His graces and His Most Holy Sacrament, I implore Him to pardon me for having so often profaned by sin my tongue, sanctified and consecrated so many times by contact with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in my communions. O great Saint, obtain for me the grace to preserve my tongue pure and spotless from sin, that I may henceforth merit to receive Jesus Christ worthily in the Sacrament of His love.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Fifth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, praying and singing to Him with devotion and attention, I bless and venerate thee. I thank God for giving thee the spirit of prayer and gift of contemplation, and through thy merits, I implore Him to grant me the grace that all the prayers my tongue shall recite may spring from an attentive and recollected heart.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Sixth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, with Whom thou didst hold familiar conversation when He appeared to thee under the form of a graceful Child, I bless and venerate thee, and thanking God for the sweet apparitions and tender conversations with which He favored thee, I implore thee to obtain for me the grace to always converse devoutly and affectionately with Jesus in His Sacrament after Holy Communion.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Seventh Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, by teaching men the knowledge of their faith and duties by converting so many sinners, I bless and venerate thee. I thank God Who has given thee so much charity, wisdom and zeal, and I implore you to obtain from Him the same gifts for me, and for all, that we may labor, by our examples and words, to procure the glory of God, and the conversion of sinners.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Eighth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, when in preaching and speaking in one language, thou were, by a miracle, heard, at a distance, and understood by people of every nation and language, I bless and venerate thee, and, thanking God for making of thee such a zealous workman and so admirable in the conversion of sinners, I implore thee, to attract the blessings of divine goodness on my tongue, that it may never do harm, and may always promote the glory of God and my neighbor's welfare.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Ninth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, when they saw the fish themselves obey thee, and raise their heads from the water to listen to thy words, when they saw a common horse prostrate itself to adore Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament, I bless and venerate thee, I thank God for having worked such prodigies to confirm thy faith, thy sanctity and thy teachings; I implore thee to obtain for me the grace to hear with fruit, the word of God, and to be devout to the Holy Sacrament of the altar.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Tenth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, even to obliging the infernal spirits to obey thee, and to quit the bodies which they possessed, by saying to them, "Behold the cross of the Lord! Fly, ye powers of darkness, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered. Alleluia." I bless, praise and venerate thee, and, thanking God for giving thee such power over hell, beseech thee to cause me to be delivered and preserved from the snares and temptation of the devil, as well as all those who recite with faith, and carry with confidence the words pronounced by thy tongue.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Eleventh Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, by reconciling enemies, converting malefactors and robbers, humbling a tyrant at thy feet, and humiliating hardened heretics, I bless, praise and venerate thee, I thank God for giving such strength and persuasion to thy words, and I implore thee to obtain for me grace and zeal to exercise fraternal correction with prudence and meekness, so as to prevent evil and effect good.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Twelfth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, who has commanded with authority and faith, the unchained elements, disease and death itself, while God has worked through you as an instrument of so many astounding prodigies, prodigies which He still continues from day to day, I bless and venerate thee. I thank God for granting thee the privilege of distributing so many graces and working such wondrous miracles, and I implore thee to use it in my favor, and in favor of all those who have devotion to thee.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.


Thirteenth Day

O Marvelous Saint, whose Blessed Tongue did always bless the Lord, and cause others to bless Him, thanks to all thy prerogatives, thanks to the veneration in which thou hast ever been held, thanks to thy powerful intercession, all can clearly see how great is thy merit before God, Who gives thee such glory in heaven, so much power and veneration on earth, I rejoice with thee, I venerate thee, and, thanking God for all thy virtues, merits and the glory which He gives thee, and will give thee in heaven and on earth, I promise to be truly devout to thee by imitating thy virtues as far as I am able, especially by keeping my tongue from sin, by employing it in praising and thanking God, and praying never more to offend Him. Obtain for me from our Lord, with the pardon of all the faults which my tongue has committed, or made others commit, the grace never more to make use of it to offend Him. For this intention, I will recite every day, or at least every Tuesday, the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, thirteen times, to thank the Most Holy Trinity for the graces, glory and privileges which have been granted to thee, in order to be worthy of thy protection during this life, of thy assistance at the hour of my death, and of thy blessed company in heaven. Amen

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
St Anthony, pray for us.

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