St Anthony: Saint of Thirteen Miracles

February 14, 2017

St Anthony of Padua is one of the most popular saints in Catholic Church. It is believed from time immemorial that those who pray to St Anthony have never returned empty-handed. St Anthony is also known as saint of miracles and he is famously hailed as saint of thirteen miracles.

Devotion to St Anthony around the world started as soon as his saintly life was known to the believers. It became stronger once the miracles started taking place in his name. He was the second quickest saint to be canonised.

The devotion of St Anthony in Mangaluru has a history of more than a century. It is the oldest devotion among the saints in the region.

St Anthony – Brief Profile

St Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon in Portugal as Fernando Martins. Though he belonged to a wealthy family, he chose to be a friar of the Franciscan Order. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he died in Padua, Italy on June 13, 1231 at a very young age.

St Anthony was canonised on May 30, 1232 less than one year after his death. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946. He is also the Patron Saint of lost things.

Devotion in Mangaluru

Though the devotion of St Anthony in Mangaluru is centuries old, the devotion at Milagres church gained significance when Fr M P Colaco, later Monsignor, a young and energetic priest started Novena to the saint on June 12, 1898 followed by a solemn feast the next day.

Monsignor M P Colaco

Soon after that Fr Colaco began offering Mass every Tuesday on the altar of the saint and also held special prayers. The response of the people was beyond all expectations. Since then thousands of people have come to the feet of St Anthony seeking his intercession during their difficulties.

The statue of St Anthony blessed by Pope Leo XIII which arrived from Vatican was installed on the side altar on January 22, 1902.

St Anthony’s Bread

People started donating to the church in cash and kind as a token of gratitude for the favours received from St Anthony. The church administration decided to use this donation to help the poor and downtrodden. This gesture was later named as 'St Anthony's Bread'.

In 1910, Dr Paul Perini S J, the Bishop of Mangaluru put Fr M P Colaco in charge of St Anthony’s Bread and constituted it as an independent institution.

In 1911, some houses for the old, destitute and physically challenged were built near Milagres church. These houses were called St Anthony’s houses for the poor. During the First World War when people did not have food, it is said that there used to be big queue of people in search of food and St Anthony’s Bread provided them with sufficient food.

St Anthony Ashram and devotion

As the number of destitute increased and the space in the houses was not adequate to accommodate them, a 28 acres land was bought in Jeppu in 1934. The residents staying in Milagres were shifted to this place in 1936.

St Anthony, who is famous for thirteen miracles, continues to conduct miracles among devotees every day. The Jeppu St Anthony Ashram, managed by St Anthony Chartable Institutes, is a witness for it. St Anthony through his devotees provides accommodation and hope for 400 destitute in the society.

This is the only ashram in India run by secular priests as part of their mission. The ashram remains in the same land since its inception. Not even an inch of mega land has been sold to anyone or utilised for any commercial purpose though it lies in the centre of the city.

New altar at Milagres

A new altar dedicated to St Anthony of Padua was inaugurated by Monsignor Denis Moras Prabhu at Milagres church on June 2, 2015. This altar with the old statue just outside the church has been renovated and extended. Many devotees visit this place every day in large numbers.

St Anthony’s Tongue

When St Anthony’s body was exhumed thirty two years after his death under the supervision of St Bonaventure and examined, and it was found to be all corrupt except his tongue, which was as fresh as the day he died. This favour was given to Saint Anthony because by his tongue he was ‘a hammer of heretics.’ The relics of tongue have been sent to places around the world where his devotion is held including Mangaluru. The relic is found at Milagres Church and at St Anthony Ashram Chapel.

The prayer ‘O Blessed Tongue’ said in honour of St Anthony’s holy tongue is considered as a strong prayer by Catholics.

Every day, except Sundays, Adoration of Sacrament is held at the St Anthony Ashram from 6 to 7 pm. Every first Tuesday of the Month, a half day retreat is also held at the Ashram.

St Anthony Feasts

The annual novena for St Anthony is held between June 4 and 12. The feast is celebrated on June 13 every year.

Feast of St Anthony’s Tongue is celebrated on February 15 every year.

Nine-day Novena and Feast on February 15

In preparation for Feast of St Anthony’s Tongue, the Novena of 9 days duration have started on February 6 at Milagres Church this year and will end on February 14. Every day has a special theme with a day dedicated to Youth, Married Couple, Workers, Sick people, People persecuted, Religious and Clergy, Leaders, Institutions working for Church and Children. Renowned preachers will conduct the Novena every day after the Mass at 6 pm.

February 15 will be the feast day. There will be a Mass in Konkani by Fr William Barokas at 8.15 am at Milagres Church with prayers for the sick. At 11 am, there will be a Mass by Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu at St Anthony Charitable Institutes. A Mass in Malayalam will be held by Fr Jerome Chingathara from Mahe at Milagres Church at 4.30 pm.

Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza will celebrate the Festal Mass at 6 pm at Milagres Church.

For more details and petitions, contact: 0824-2418065.2417065. Email:

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By Richie John Pais
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Comment on this article

  • Manoj Peter, Kolar Gold Fields Karnataka

    Wed, Jun 15 2022

    St Anthony's Firstly i thank you from my bottom of the Heart for what iam having Today . Please be with us always .St Anthony's you have done a impossible to possible and performed a lot of miracles in my life thank you .i should be placed ina good job with good salary. i lost those th thing's i should live respectfully in the society and ch clear all my debts and give ame a house still living in a rented house .and one for all Plz guide us to live in a sinfull and ina good path . St Anthony's Please pray for us

  • Omoli Francis, Pader Uganda

    Mon, Jun 13 2022

    Saint Anthony may you intercede for me to complete my study of bachelor degree of medicine and surgery well and as soon as possible. May pray for me to God to protect me from evils plans and work so that I receive all my heart desires

  • Ndemeraho Patriotic Amen, Kampala - Uganda

    Sun, Dec 26 2021

    wholeheartedly, Our St.Anthony was so great and remains so today. Thank you God and Jesus for giving us this Saint of Miracles ; I can only say that it was bad for us for him to have died at that young age of 35, we would be reading much more about him and getting more Spiritually encouraged, comforted and inspired etc.. by his more deeds /Miracles. I am one of those people who Love seeing Miracles happen in his Current world where almost all us human beings and other creatures have become abnormally selfish in everything we do, think, plan and execute in our daily life. To me, it's like we are currently in more full situation than that ones we read about Sodom and Gomora or that time of Noah. Today , I see how sexual immorality in marriage, homosexuality, Murder of innocent people, others being killed as Sacrifices by their own loved ones, witchcraft, worshipping of satanic gods in millions of open shrines during day along roads and high-ways, witch doctors (Satanic Doctors) advertising their evil activities on Radios , TV's and other open social media platforms as if it's a normal practice, stealing of all categories of leaders, religious, political, traditional without any remorse for very poor citizens who don't have any power, abortions being legalized, false prophets and Pastors who are fought sacrificing children and adults to Satan to get super natural powers, others even use electronic gadgets to knock down innocent worshipers in to prove how they have powers. It's extremely so terrible to a human like me. Even recently, I discovered that white and black colored birds ( in my local language known as Ebikona) which were friends with hens and used to eat together but now these white and black birds just eat chicks of hens like nothing and are worst enemies now. Thus, am lucky this Christmas because it's when the Almighty led to this great St.Mathias in a prayer book I bought at Our Lady of Peace in Kiwamirembe Catholic Shrine in Uganda.

  • Ricardo Amora, Cebu City, Phils

    Thu, Nov 04 2021

    Senior San Antonio de Padua! help me pray to our Lord God in heaven to grant the desires of my heart. I am looking for a teaching g job. I hope and pray I could have this job this year. Thank you

  • Koppah Richard, Plateau state

    Wed, Oct 27 2021

    St Anthony of Padua pray for me that I will graduate with good results in my undergraduate studies

  • Cee Elares, Phil.

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    Praise Thee St. Anthony of Padua. I Thank You for Your Help. Please continue to grant my fervent wishes and prayers. I promise to honor You each day of my life St. Anthony of Padua, Amen.

  • tobias ohaeri, imo State Nigeria

    Thu, Sep 23 2021

    I pray that through the prayers of saint Anthony's may God answer my private intentions especially the one that I prayed one hour ago

  • Gail Lawrence, South Africa

    Fri, Jul 17 2020

    Please pray for me St Anthony that I will be blessed with the following if gods will and not mine.
    1. To be blessed with work at as soon as possible
    2. To be blessed with work with one of the following companies Barno plastic or WSP Africa or Buco or Baron Cars or Woolworth Head Office as soon as possible.
    3. Guide and direct a company to office me work as soon as possible.
    4. Speak to someone heart to get me a work/job as soon as possible.
    5. Help someone to bless me with Food Money and Rent Money
    6. Help prevent me from losing my place
    7. To be blessed financially to paid my debts
    8. Speak to Mr Fourie heart in lending me money to pay my rent.
    9. Bless me with a life partner and lead me to him, my he came into my life to share marriage and love and be honest and kind person and be a good provider for me and respect me.
    10. Bless me with a atomic car.
    11. To be blessed with good health of mind and body
    12. To be blessed with inner peace

  • Christina, Chennai

    Sat, Jul 11 2020

    I should pass my pg degree in 1st class
    I should be placed in a good job
    My boyfriend that is my cousin should understand my love and come back to me soon
    St. Antony pray for us

  • R.Lewis, Manglaore/Bahrain

    Wed, Feb 15 2017

    St Anthony pray for us all.

  • Antony Cony, Karkala/Qatar

    Tue, Feb 14 2017

    God is in favor of all prayers of faithful either supplications interceded through Saints or Prayers with Trinity alone.
    Saints can’t be dead and gone. By their saintly life, pleasing unto God, who honors them, permitting miracles through them thus they are remembered we to honor the same God, centuries are not a limit. By their life, God's name is lifted.
    No one can glorify God by faith alone but by their life too. I Thank God for all Saints, recently being Mother Therese and others.
    I always enjoy your every columns Richiyab. Very extensive write-up on St. Antony, much of it I never knew it. It’s God’s will. He has set a purpose through your article. Glory to God.

  • Mariette Dsouza, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 14 2017

    we go to st Antony so that he pleads and intercedes before the Amighty on our behalf. Whatever is good for us the good lord is going to grant us.The favours we recieve are all for the greater glory of God..Whosevers prayers are not answered gets the inner strength to bear the calamities and tribulations of life. They uphold the dictum "when God is with us who can be against us." So no one can be losers all are winners. Secondly the one who is praying really does not know whether the favour is benifitting him in the long run.

  • John B. Monteiro, Bondel Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 14 2017

    Who will St. Antony favour?

    There were 54 thanksgivings for favours received. It may be surmised that all who had their wishes fulfilled may not go back to thank. Some tend to be complacent or arrogant and think that their work was done despite the novena. They tend to say that a cold gets cured in 15 days with medicine and in a fortnight without it. They are in good company. In one Biblical episode Jesus cures ten lepers and only one comes back to thank him, provoking him to say: “Didn’t I cure ten? Where are the others?’

    Faith is essence of prayer. As Burns says, “They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright”. That brings us to the flippant side of prayer. Kneeling on the first pew of the church at the novena is Peter who is fighting a court case against Paul who is kneeling on the fifth pew. Jane on the fourth pew is praying for her father to forsake drink whereas he on the 10th pew wants his daughter to be enlightened so that he can continue to enjoy his moderate drinking. Charlie on the sixth pew and Vincent on the tenth pew work for the same firm and both are eyeing and praying for the manager’s position. Who will St Antony favour?

  • Lynette Barboza, Falnir, Mangaluru

    Tue, Feb 14 2017

    RJP, such an insightful piece on the follower of Christ. Hope we have more saints in this day and time.

  • Swinette Saldanha, Mangaluru

    Tue, Feb 14 2017

    St Anthony...pray for us.

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