If I could talk to the animals

 

St. Anthony preaches to the fish

The movie featured the song “Talk to the Animals” by Bobby Darin.

If I could talk to the animals, just imagine it,
Chattin’ with a chimp in chimpanzee,
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting with a cheetah,
What a neat achievement it would be!

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. He was a man known for his miracles. Among them are his many interactions with animals and their response to him. One story about the great saint took place when he was preaching to a group of heretics. The heretics mocked and provoked him, making fun of the Catholic Faith.

With this, St. Anthony walked to a local river that flowed into the sea. He looked out over the water and called on the fish to listen to him preach, since the heretics had closed their minds and hearts. Suddenly, the heads of fish came out of the water and looked in his direction as if they were listening to him preach.

There are many stories of animals responding to saints. Nature responds to grace. When a soul has become united to God through mystical union, all of nature responds to this union. It is as if the saints give us a taste of heaven, when the “The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.” (Isaiah 11:8)

St. Anthony’s miracles were so well know, that St. Bonaventure wrote what is known as St. Anthony’s Responsory:

If, then, thou seekest miracles,
Death, error, all calamities,
The leprosy and demons flee,
The sick, by him made whole, arise.

Ant: The sea withdraws and fetters break,
And withered limbs he doth restore,
While treasures lost are found again,
When young or old his help implore.

All dangers vanish from our path,
Our direst needs do quickly flee:
Let those who know repeat the theme:
Let Paduans praise St. Anthony. (repeat antiphon)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. (repeat antiphon)

V. Pray for us, O blessed Anthony,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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About Fr. Jay Finelli

Father Jay Finelli is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in the state of Rhode Island. He is a webmaster, podcaster, and blogger. In his free time, Father is an avid Live Steam enthusiast.

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If I could talk to the animals — 2 Comments

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