Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lilies & St. Anthony

A little explanation of the Blessing of Lilies in St. Anthony’s Honor:   On the feast (June 13th) of this most wonderful of Saints, your priest might bless lilies for you to keep. The blessing of lilies, which remind us of St. Anthony’s purity and have always been a symbol for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned the church at that feast were still fresh. Let the blest lily remind you of St. Anthony’s protection, especially for the sick and homebound. Only the lily flower or blossom is blessed [the stem and leaves can be discarded], so after the lily has lost its freshness, you can carry the blossom with you (in your purse or wallet), or press it in a prayer book or Bible, etc.

The Blessing of Lilies on the Feast of St. AnthonyThe priest vests in surplice and white stole, and says:

Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Let us pray. God, the Creator and Preserver of the human race, the Lover of holy purity, the Giver of supernatural grace, and the Dispenser of everlasting salvation; bless + these lilies which we, Thy humble servants, present to Thee today as an act of thanksgiving and in honor of St. Anthony, Thy confessor, and with a request for Thy blessing. Pour out on them, by the saving sign + of the holy cross, Thy dew from on high. Thou in Thy great kindness hast given them to man, and endowed them with a sweet fragrance to lighten the burden of the sick. Therefore, let them be filled with such power that, whether they are used by the sick, or kept in homes or other places, or devoutly carried on one's person, they may serve to drive out evil spirits, safeguard holy chastity, and turn away illness--all this through the prayers of St. Anthony--and finally impart to Thy servants grace and peace; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
Then he sprinkles the lilies with holy water, saying:
Priest: Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Pray for us, St. Anthony.
All: That we may be worthy of Christ's promise.
Priest: Let us pray. We beg Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may be helped by the constant and devout intercession of Blessed Anthony, Thy illustrious confessor. May he assist us to be worthy of Thy grace in this life, and to attain everlasting joys in the life to come; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
After this the lilies are distributed to the people.


Other related posts:
The Origin of Saint Anthony Bread
Saint Anthony Biography
The Miracles of Saint Anthony
Tuesdays with Saint Anthony

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