February 20, 2009

Feb 20, 2009 - St. Anthony Mary's 480th Anniversary Priestly Ordination

In 1529, February 20, at age 26, he was ordained. God’s deep love for Anthony Mary was shown by the following miracle. It was recorded by all the contemporary Cremonese historians and attested in the process of canonization.

            It was the custom in those days, as it is now, that a priest's first mass should be celebrated with great pomp and solemnity and that a banquet should then be given in the house of the newly-ordained. Anthony Mary, who disliked all show and pomp, requested that all exterior solemnities be avoided, for he longed to be alone to celebrate for the first time in quiet and recollection the Divine Mysteries. Absorbed in meditating on the great Sacrifice and his heart burning with love for God, he went to the foot of the altar. A profound and religious silence prevailed among those present, and all eyes were turned on him, a sign of the great event about to take place. At the solemn moment of consecration, a marvelous light encircled him and a multitude of Angels descended, and surrounding him, assisted reverently at the Mass. This heavenly vision lasted until the end of Communion. The joy and astonishment of those present can only be imagined. The report of the miracle quickly spread through the city and each one thanked God in his heart, sure that the new priest must be the angel sent from heaven for the salvation of the people and so, indeed, it proved to be.

Novena To Saint Anthony M. Zaccaria

From the Foreword to the Novena to St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria 

In the first half of the fifteenth century in Italy shone the luminous figure of Anthony Mary Zaccaria. This young saint, full of passion for God’s love, was a great reformer of religious customs of the clergy and the Christian people. Above all, he was the founder of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites), the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, and the Laity of St. Paul.

Anthony Mary Zaccaria, born in Cremona, Italy in 1502, was a student and graduate in medicine from the University of Padua; a doctor of body and soul in his native city; a fervent catechist and a zealous priest in Milan and elsewhere. For a decade his apostolate was characterized by an intense devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar (he was the promoter of the Forty Hours Devotion), and by a passionate love of the cross and the crucified Christ (he instituted the ringing of bells on Friday afternoon to commemorate Christ’s death). Anthony Mary was guided by an extraordinary zeal of St. Paul, chosen by him to be his master and model on earth, and his special patron in heaven.

Exhausted from his pastoral work, Anthony Mary died at only 36 years old, leaving behind admirable examples of penance and of spirituality. In the novena here presented, his ascetic-mystic thought continuously emerges. This thought can be found in his six Sermons and eleven Letters, which remained as his testament and a mirror of his soul and his missionary call: in these writings resounds an unceasing appeal against vices, and toward holiness.

Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “I have to say that the image of this saint is dear to me because he is one of the great figures of Catholic reform… an authentic man of God and of the Church, a man burning with zeal, a demanding forger of consciences, a true leader able to convert and lead others to good.

Like all the saints, Zaccaria is a figure of permanent relevance: an encounter with him symbolizes an invitation to return to a charism of a unique vocation, a return desired by the Second Vatican Council, as an indispensable element of true renewal. The Church venerates the saints and honors their images. Celebrating their names and their memory, she proclaims Christ’s marvels in his servants and proposes to the faithful examples to imitate (Sacrosantum Concilium, 11).

The saints manifest the face and the presence of God in the world. They contribute to the spiritual life of the Church on earth, and form with us one mystical body. As friends and coheirs of Christ, they intercede for us. As our brothers and benefactors, they teach us the way to reach heaven. (Lumen Gentium, 49-50)

Anthony Mary Zaccaria merits to be known and followed in his teachings: he counts among the category of priests, who in the course of centuries, have left a splendid example of holiness. As a spiritual master, he continues to spread and proclaim the Word of God and to teach the “sublime wisdom of Jesus Christ” (Liturgy of July 5)

Bishop Andrea M. Erba, CRSP
Bishop Emeritus of Velletri-Segni,
Rome, 15 November 2008
Solemnity of Mother of Divine Providence

Day 1  of the Novena – for FAITH

“It is necessary that you always trust in God’s help and come to know by experience that you are never to be without it.”  

(St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Constitutions XVII)

 Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


First Reading

From the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (1:8-12)

I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the world. God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in proclaiming the

gospel of his Son, that I remember you constantly, always asking in my prayers that somehow by God’s will I may at last find my way clear to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may share with you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened, that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith, yours and mine.

 Second Reading

From the letter of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria to the Reverend Father Bartolomeo Ferrari (Letter VI)

Dearly beloved in Christ, why do you entertain any doubts? Haven’t you experienced in this undertaking that you never lacked the necessary means to help those in need? Nothing is more certain and reliable than experience. Those who love you do not possess the wealth either of a Paul or of a Magdalene; they do, however, trust in the One who enriched them both. Thus as a result of both your faith and theirs God will provide for any person under your care. You can be sure that, before you speak and in the very moment of speaking, Jesus Crucified will anticipate and accompany, not only every word of yours, but your every holy intention.Don’t you see that He Himself has opened the doors for you with His own hands? Who, then, will hinder you from entering the hearts of people and from changing them so completely as to renew them and beautify them with holy virtues? Nobody, of course − neither the devil nor any other creature.


  • St. Anthony, precursor of Catholic reform…Pray for us.
  • St. Anthony, faithful administrator of the divine mysteries…Pray for us.
  • St. Anthony, priest solicitous in making gain in others…Pray for us.


Christ, our Savior, you endowed St. Anthony Mary with the light and flame of a solid faith.Increase our faith, so that we may learn to love the living true God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… 

Closing Prayer

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


To receive a copy of the Novena please write to :

Barnabite Spiritual Center  
4301 Hecktown Road
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Donation of $ 1.00 is greatly appreciated to cover the mailing expenses