Legend has it that a little girl in Padua fell into a barrel of water and drowned. Her distraught mother prayed to St. Anthony for help, and promised to donate her daughter’s weight in grain if she regained her life. The child miraculously awakened, and so began a ritual of giving to the poor when favors were granted in St. Anthony's name. In France a young woman named Louise Bouffier donated loaves of bread from her bakery, and thus the term "St. Anthony's Bread" was born.
Bread is such a basic necessity of life and also an important part of our faith. The Eucharist takes that basic need and changes it into the Body of our Lord, and once we are nourished by this Bread of Life we, in turn, become a blessing to others. Charity is another crucial aspect of our faith, and I am sure St. Anthony is pleased that this tradition carries on in his name. Today let's try to be charitable in some way to another, whether making a donation or simply offering a hand to someone in need. Living charity is one sure path to sainthood.
St. Anthony, pray for us!