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Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Catholic Prayer: Blessing of Bread in Honor of St. Anthony

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Description:

St. Anthony's Bread is an expression of devotion reminding of St. Anthony's love and aid to the poor when he was alive. The tradition dates back to the 13th century, stemming from a story when a young child fell into a barrel of water and drowned. The mother begged St. Anthony to help, promising to donate grain the weight of her child to the poor if her daughter was restored. The child arose as if asleep, and this began giving alms to the poor for favors in St. Anthony's intercession.

The actual name of "St. Anthony's Bread" came from a French woman named Louise Bouffier in 1890, who promised loaves of bread for the poor when St. Anthony helped her with opening the broken lock of her small linen shop. After his help, her shop was the basis of St. Anthony's Bread.

In some places the term "St. Anthony's Bread" refers merely to alms and there is no actual bread exchanged, but money given to the poor will help them buy food.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
we praise you and give you glory for the gift of bread,
fruit of the earth, work of human hands and source of our daily nourishment.
Bless + this bread in honor of St. Anthony.
Teach us to share all your gifts with the poor, the forsaken and the hungry.
All praise be to you through Jesus Christ, our Savior,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
R. Amen.