Virginia Lieto's post recalling her visit to St. Anthony's basilica in Padua, Italy. Touching the tomb, Lieto recalls, was transformative:
As I touched the cold stone slab, I felt this surge of energy flow through my veins. It was so warm, and filled with love – I didn’t want to let go!!!! Ever!!!! I started to cry; no, make that sob; so much so, that I had to let go to blow my nose. I then touched the tomb once more, and again I felt that wonderful feeling. Was it a piece of Heaven residing in temporal form on earth? I’m not sure. All I can say is that it was a wonderful experience for me. What made it an extraordinary experience is what happened next.
After we left the Basilica, we journeyed across the street to have lunch at an outdoor café. I felt compelled to share my experience with my husband, Nick, if only to explain why I was sobbing in the Basilica. When I told him what happened, he simply said to me, “I felt it too.” That sent chills done my spine on a warm summer’s day in an Italian outdoor café.
God sends us miracles of His presence every day, if we are open to receiving them, and willing to use our eyes of faith. Saint Anthony helped me to find something that day, as he is so well known for finding things that are lost. Saint Anthony helped me to find Christ’s peace, a peace that continues to reside within me to this day. Thank you Saint Anthony! Happy Feast Day!
I'm glad Virginia wrote this. Hey, sometimes God reaches us where we are...and sometimes we find God waiting for us...and thus his reach surprises and refreshes all the more. Sometimes this occurs through locations themselves, sometimes through the saints, and, as Virginia blogs here, sometimes through a saint's particular location. And it is miraculous.
Follow Virginia's blog for quick, clear doses of Catholic spirituality and, importantly, reflections on the virtues. Her children's book Finding Patience will charm young readers in your family.