Lilies and Bread

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Together with two good friends I went on a little pilgrimage this morning to the Basilica of Sant'Antonio on the Via Merulana. The church was full of devotees of Saint Anthony. There were lines at all the confessionals. At the entrance to the basilica was a Franciscan priest with an aspergillum, giving a blessing to the faithful as they entered. Blessed lilies were much in evidence but they were artificial ones in cellophane packaging! I said the Gloria Patri seven times in honour of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost in the life and works of Saint Anthony. And like the other pilgrims gathered around the statue of Saint Anthony in festal array, I presented my petitions to the glorious Wonderworker. Viva Sant'Antonio!


June 13

The Blessing of Lilies and of Bread
in Honour of Saint Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church

O God, the Creator of all things,
the Source of all loveliness,
the lover of holy purity,
and the giver of spiritual grace.
Graciously bless these lilies
offered today in thanksgiving to you
and in honour of Saint Anthony.
Pour out on them heavenly dew
by the saving sign + of the most holy Cross.

O merciful God,
who have endowed these lilies with a most delightful fragrance
to be a comfort and help to those on their sickbeds,
imbue them now with so great a virtue
that whether they are used at home,
in a sickroom, or carried about one’s person,
they may have power,
through the intercession of Saint Anthony,
to drive out evil spirits, to safeguard chastity,
to turn away illness,
and to bestow on your servants peace and grace.
Through Christ our Lord.

The lilies are sprinkled with holy water.

Most Holy Father, Giver of our daily bread,
hear our prayers
that those who share this bread in honour of Saint Anthony,
the brilliant preacher of your Word and lover of the poor,
may taste the inward effect of your heavenly blessing,
and hunger always after the true Bread come down from heaven.
Bless, we beseech you, these loaves +
and mercifully grant that those who celebrate
the festival of Saint Anthony today
may, by eating this bread with reverence,
attain the corporal and spiritual health they desire.
Through Christ our Lord.

The loaves are sprinkled with holy water.

Adapted from the Roman and Seraphic Rituals.


The icon of St. Anthony holding the Christ child which you blessed for our garden several years ago is on our dinning room table today, a blessed candle burning before the icon. Lillies blessed at the conclusion of the novena at our parish are on either side of the icon and we ate blessed bread for lunch. Thank you for making these traditions known to us!

+Dear Father,

Blessed Feast! Artificial lilies? Oh no! Our gardens are in full bloom with lilies in every size and color and abundant fragrance. Our dear sacristan has placed huge bouquets of them in the sanctuary, and the perfume is overwhelming. Wish you could be on site to bless them all and us!
Please pray as we begin our annual retreat with retreat master, Fr. Mark Gruber, OSB. You are in our thoughts and prayers as June is now well underway. Yours in Christ, MVT

Happy feast of dear St Anthony!!

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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