Saint Anthony's Miracles. The Drowned Child

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The miracle

We are in Lisbon, Portugal. A boy called Parrisio decides to go on a boat trip with other boys, but without telling his parents. Suddenly, a violent storm breaks out and the boat capsizes. While the other boys, who were older and knew how to swim, managed to save themselves, Parrisio drowned. Upon hearing this tragedy, the boy’s mother ran to the beach and pleaded with the sailors to recuperate the body. They lowered their nets and soon were able to draw out Parrisio’s lifeless body, which they gave to the desperate mother. On the next day the family wanted to take the body to church for the funeral and subsequent burial, but the mother did not allow this. She continued to pray to St. Anthony, promising that if her child were brought back to life she would consecrate him to the Franciscan Order. On the third day, in front of his parents and relatives, the boy suddenly awoke as though from a deep sleep; the mother’s prayers to the Lord, through the intercession of St. Anthony, had been answered. When he became older Parrisio entered the Franciscan Order, and always joyfully told his fellow friars of the wonder God had performed for him through the intercession of St. Anthony.

Meditation

This miracle has special importance in St Anthony’s life because it is the first time that he brings someone back to life. However, Anthony was neither the first person nor the last to perform this type of miracle. An American Scholar, Fr. Albert Hebert, drawing from ecclesiastical sources and documents of beatification and canonization processes, was able to highlight more than 400 cases of people who were raised from the dead in the Church’s history. However, it is important to emphasise that all these miracles have nothing to do with the greatest turning point in human history, the Resurrection of Christ, the event which gives us the certainty that one day we shall also be united with Him by sharing in His Resurrection. Yes, Jesus died a human death and “on the third day he rose again,” but after his Resurrection he will not die again. He ascended into heaven – body and soul. And so, brothers and sisters, let’s not forget Jesus’ ultimate reassurance that death has fully been defeated, and that we will all be resurrected just as He was: forever.