Twelfth video- meditation: “Boys Announce the Saint’s death. The pain of mourning as an experience of human and spiritual growth.”

13 Tuesdays Novena, May 31 2022 by fr. Gilberto Depeder.

Let us listen

“Although the friars tried most diligently and carefully to hide his blessed death from strangers, and even from friends and acquaintances so that they would not be crushed by the onrush of large crowds of people, groups of boys nevertheless ran about the city, shouting: “The holy father is dead! Saint Anthony is dead!”

(From the Vita Prima of St . Anthony)


Let us meditate

The first biography of Saint Anthony says that his broth- ers tried to handle the news of his death with great cau- tion, worried about the reaction of adults. And so they lost control of children, who with lightness and simplicity began to spread the fact by running around the city. Today, we are very careful to preserve children from the idea that they can die. We protect them with increasingly unlikely narratives, perhaps so as to not upset their light-heartedness, or perhaps because it is we adults who are in difficulty with the prospect of death, and we do not know how to “tell” it.

And to think that St. Francis called death his “sister”!

Let us pray

In me there is darkness, but in You there is light;

I am lonely, but You do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help .

(D . Bonhoeffer)


Let us reflect

  • What fears, what memories, what wounds lurk behind your difficulties in talking about death?
  • What do you feel about the testimony of St. Francis, who called death “sister”?
  • What teaching did the little ones (children, sons and daughters or grandchildren) give you about life, about the meaning of living and dying?

Prayer to St. Anthony

Brother Anthony, several times you have risked your own life for the love of Jesus and you have given all your young strength to him, driven by the desire to bring the good news of the Gospel to the little ones, the poor and those who are far away. Please intercede for us, from the heavenly Father, for the gift of a strong and generous heart and serenity of spirit so that death may not catch us unawares and far from you. Amen.