St. Anthony’s Brief

Ecce Crucem Domini

Fugite partes adversae, 

Vici Leo do Tribe Juda,

Radix David, Alleluia

This is one of my favorite prayers.  I say it multiple times a day.  In fact, I just went around my home spraying Epiphany water while saying this prayer.  A wonderful priest introduced our family to this prayer over seven years ago the first time he came to bless our home (in the old rite…it was fantastic).  He gave us a stack of these business cards with this prayer on it and told us to place them throughout our home.  We did!!
This was quite special as I have had a strong devotion to St. Anthony since I was a teen.  Throughout the years he has helped me out of some very tough situations.  Lost plane tickets...before they were digital…the kind they MAILED to you!!  The kind you could not get on a plane if you din’t have them.  Lost keys.  This is one of my favorite finds of his.  When I was about 16 or 17, my best friend and I went to Padre Island.  We spent all of one day at the beach.  We parked in a sandy parking area near the beach.  This particular beach had been raked clean and they left a BIG mound of sand a ways away from the waters edge.  This mound of sand was about 1.5-2 feet tall at its tallest and went down the beach for, probably miles.  We spent the day walking up and down the beach ON this mound of sand.  Trotting over the top and down the other side, over and over and over again, up and down the beach.  At this time my friend and I both wore chain wallets, yes the kind motorcyclists wear.  I can still remember the day we went to the Harley store to get them….anyways, we always clipped our keys to the metal clip that came down off of the chain in the front.  Since we drove in my friends car down to Padre she had the keys clipped to her chain wallet.    So back to the walking up and down back and forth on this miles long sand pile all day on the beach and to top it off we were not quite in our right minds (yes I’ve come a long way since my teenage years…at least I hope so).  Hours and hours went by.  We finally decide we’d had enough sun and made our way back to the car.  We get a few meters from the car and my friend looks down only to find her keys are gone!!!  Remember we are ten hours away from home.  No one can drive a spare key to us.  We began to slightly freak out and decided that we needed to try looking for the keys as we really had no other choice.  We both began to pray as we walked up to the mound of sand on the beach.  We started to walk over and over the pile thinking how terribly hopeless it would be to actually find her keys IN THE SAND  that we just walked up and down back and forth for who knows how long and who knows how many other people had done the exact same thing.  The likelihood of those keys NOT being buried was tremendously slim!!  So back to walking and praying.  I began to pray to St. Anthony and walked right to the top of the hill and as if I knew exactly where to look and without even any sort of surprise, looked down to see the keys directly in between my feet, bent down, picked them up and said “Oh here they are”.  This is just one of many times St. Anthony has come to my rescue.  I’m always apologizing to hm for being careless and asking for him to help me find something I should have taken better care not to loose.  I just love him!!!
This prayer was so wonderful I decided to research it.  I found this explanation on Fish Eaters.  I’ll quote a bit here and you can hop over to read the rest on Fish Eaters, which is a fantastic resource.  You should bookmark her site and come back often.
In the 13th century, a Portugese woman who’d been demonically oppressed resolved to do the unthinkable by taking her own life by drowning herself in the Tagus River. On her way to the river, she passed a shrine erected in honor of the great orator and miracle-worker, St. Anthony of Padua. She stopped to pray, one last time. As she prayed, she saw St. Anthony standing before her, saying, “‘Arise woman, and take this paper, which will free you from the molestations of the Evil One.” Then he gave her a parchment inscribed with what is now known as the “Brief (i.e., “Letter”) of St. Anthony,” 1 and she was now free from demonic oppression and the desire to do away with herself.

Another priest friend of ours had seen this prayer as the tagline on my email for many years and gave me a very special gift.  It is a piece of cloth with St. Anthony’s Brief on it that has been touched to his relics!!  A brother in his order was blessed to be able to accompany St. Anthoy’s relics while the were traveling from one place to another and they were given these cloths to touch to his relics.  This brother brought them back to the states and my priest friend was so kind as to get one for me.  I have been searching for the perfect way to display it.  I have not found it yet.  Maybe I need to ask St. Anthony to help me find it!!

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