Saint Anthony's Miracles. The Saint of Miracles

The miracle

As we know Anthony died in 1231 and was buried for the time being in a little church dedicated to the Virgin Mary Mater Domini, Mother of God, while waiting for the Basilica to be at least partially completed so that the body could be kept in a much worthier tomb. His funeral took place on the following Tuesday.  Thousands and thousands of people followed his coffin, and they were all crying like babies because they saw him as a father, and not because he was a priest, Father Anthony, but because he was a real father to them. He had generated faith in them, and was constantly defending them. On the day of the funeral, a woman came whose name deserves to be remembered. She was called Cunizza, and had been ill for a year. A great tumor had formed on her shoulder, and she was only able to walk by hobbling along with the aid of crutches. Coming to the tomb, where Anthony had just been buried in, she prostrated herself in prayer. A short while later she realised that the swelling had disappeared, leaving her skin smooth and clear. She threw aside her crutches and stood upright, with tears of joy, and she went home giving thanks to God and her dear friend St. Anthony.

And this was the first miracle that happened here, around St. Anthony’s Tomb. The news spread rapidly, and people who were sick in the soul and body started coming to the Tomb in ever greater numbers.


St Anthony was canonized in shortest time in the history of the Church: only 11 months. But humanly speaking the avalanche of miracles was set off by a single pebble: the faith and courage of Cunizza, an ordinary woman, a sick and crippled pilgrim who had the courage to cast herself down before the grave of St Anthony and ask God, for Anthony’s sake and through his intercession, to heal her.

No-one’s prayer goes unheeded by God, but when we think of our own lack of merit and our inadequacy, we sometimes lack the confidence to pray for our needs. It’s merely human to turn to those we recognise as God’s friends and ask them to pray for us. That was what Cunizza did: we should follow her example and pray to St. Anthony.