Did you ever wonder what St. Anthony of Padua actually looked like? If so, let me tell you Danny’s Story.

In 2011, “Danny” was an Italian electrician who lived and worked in Italy. He was also a devoted “son of St. Anthony of Padua!” Danny prayed daily to his friend St. Anthony and was always telling everyone about the great Miracle-Worker.

One day, while working on the central power box of an old factory, Danny was electrocuted by 380 volts of electricity. He was rushed to the hospital. There his family prayed to his friend St. Anthony for hours while medical personnel performed lifesaving procedures that saved Danny’s life. St. Anthony heard their prayers through their tears and sobs as they stormed heaven on Danny’s behalf! And St. Anthony came through again for Danny!

Now the story turns frightening and beautiful.

On the day that Danny was electrocuted, he was actually dead for a few minutes and was resuscitated by the emergency room doctors.

While he was undergoing these lifesaving procedures, Danny gradually experienced a feeling of floating above his body and entering a tunnel-like passage. He recounted later that he felt wonderful and excited as to what was coming at the end of the tunnel. He said he felt totally loved.

Danny recounted that suddenly there was another person beside him, and that the passageway opened up to a beautiful field with a fence around it. Danny said the passage ended and this other person slowly turned to him. The man had on the brown habit of the Franciscan Friars, and conveyed to Danny a message without actually speaking to him. The Friar indicated that Danny couldn’t stay and had to go back to his life on earth. Danny was weeping for joy and sadness, he said, as he began to leave

this wonderful Friar. He asked him who he was, but the Friar simply smiled as Danny suddenly felt himself floating again. Suddenly, he was waking to a room filled
with white lights and beeping machines.

Now, fast forward a few years to Padua, Italy, to the Museum next to the Basilica of San Antonio. For two weeks in June, the Basilica Museum had a forensic exhibit which illustrated how modern X-Ray technology could be used to recreate the face and head of St. Anthony from his skull resting in the reliquary chapel of the Basilica.

People came from all over the world to see what could be the actual face of their beloved saint of miracles! And of course, in that crowd of thousands – was “Danny” the devoted “son of St. Anthony!”

As Danny began to walk up to the created plaster replica of what St. Anthony may have looked like, he began to sweat profusely and was about to faint. His friends had to hold him up as his knees buckled and he fell on to the floor. Immediately, the Friars brought him a chair and some water.

When he finally could speak again, without ever removing his eyes from the exhibit, he kept repeating to the Friars, “that’s
him, that’s him, that’s him . . .” Because that WAS him. That was the Friar who had told Danny that he must return to earth, to his life! It was St. Anthony himself who sent Danny back in Christ’s name!

That Friar who spoke without words to Danny was the Great Miracle-Worker, St. Anthony of Padua. It was St. Anthony himself who directed Danny back home,
and now Danny was looking at his likeness in the Museum! St. Anthony had heard his family’s prayers; St. Anthony had brought Danny back to his family and now to the Basilica Museum. this wonderful Friar.

He asked him who he was, but the Friar simply smiled as Danny suddenly felt himself floating again. Suddenly, he was waking to a room filled with white lights and beeping machines. Now, fast forward a few years to Padua, Italy, to the Museum next to the Basilica of San Antonio. For two weeks in June, the Basilica Museum had a forensic exhibit which illustrated how modern X-Ray technology could be used to recreate the face and head of St. Anthony from his skull resting in the reliquary chapel of the Basilica. People came from all over the world to see what could be the actual face of their beloved saint of miracles! And of course, in that crowd of thousands – was “Danny” the devoted “son of St. Anthony!”

As Danny began to walk up to the created plaster replica of what St. Anthony may have looked like, he began to sweat profusely and was about to faint. His friends had to hold him up as his knees buckled and he fell on to the floor. Immediately, the Friars brought him a chair and some water. When he finally could speak again, without ever removing his eyes from the exhibit, he kept repeating to the Friars, “that’s him, that’s him, that’s him . . .” Because that WAS him.

That was the Friar who had told Danny that he must return to earth, to his life! It was St. Anthony himself who sent Danny back in Christ’s name! That Friar who spoke without words to Danny was the Great Miracle-Worker, St. Anthony of Padua. It was St. Anthony himself who directed Danny back home, and now Danny was looking at his likeness in the Museum! St. Anthony had heard his family’s prayers; St. Anthony had brought Danny back to his family and now to the Basilica Museum.

St. Anthony came through once again for Danny!
St. Anthony can do the same for you!

St. Anthony can comfort you in illness, ease your anxiety.
St. Anthony can help in your cares and answer your prayers.
St. Anthony will be with you and be by your side just like he was for Danny.

Put your cares before St. Anthony, and he will help you.

What does this beautiful story mean to us?
We could continue to be amazed at the wonderful story of Danny and his meeting St. Anthony “on his way to heaven.” We could sit in awe of actually meeting the great Miracle-Worker face to face.

Or we can learn the most important lesson from Danny’s journey:
IT’S NOT MEETING THE GREAT SAINT FACE TO FACE THAT IS SO WONDERFUL, IT IS KNOWING, LIKE DANNY, THAT ST. ANTHONY WALKS WITH ME, BEDSIDE ME, AND IS ALWAYS WITH ME NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT LIFE IS FOR ME.

That’s the lesson to be learned. When Danny turned, he saw St. Anthony walking with him. Then he understood that he is with me when I sit at the table, when I’m in the car, when I’m sleeping, when I’m laughing, and when I cry myself to sleep from worry, anxiety and exhaustion. St. Anthony is always with me. St. Anthony is always hearing my prayers.

It’s not about his face – it’s about his presence when I need him in my life.

Now is the time to go to St. Anthony as we begin The Great Novena! Sense his presence, walk with him, speak to him and pray with him and the Franciscan Friars in this Great Novena. St. Anthony Will Come Through For You Too!

Join your prayers to ours as we join thousands of people together participating in this Nine Day Novena starting on June 4th. We will pray each day up to his Day of Death on June 12th.

This is what Love At Work really means!

Putting our prayers and our faith into good works, into assisting those who have so little compared to what we have. This is a time of Generosity and Care Given in Honor of St. Anthony and His Poor Join us for these days of prayer and honor to: St. Anthony, our Saint and Friend who makes MIRACLES HAPPEN in our lives!

Many Blessings,

Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director
St. Anthony’s Guild

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