Peace and All Good Will
“Peace and Goodness,” was a greeting often heard from the early Franciscans. Sadly, peace and goodness were all too often lacking in their society. Emperors opposed Popes, and Popes sent great armies against kings. The nobility opposed the prerogatives of the merchant class, and they both despised the poor. There was a sense of chaos, and people did not know where to turn. These chaotic divisions extended down to the very foundation of society.
Anthony, like St. Francis, fought the evils of hate and division. His simple Gospel message proclaimed that time was short, and that we must create the Kingdom of God while we have the opportunity. His example of love and acceptance itself became a powerful call to conversion.
Because many held him in great esteem, he was often called to reconcile families, political parties and cities. He called people to liberate themselves from their self-imposed imprisonment to selfishness, resentment and jealousy.
Here, too, we hear of legends which show the Saint creating a spirit of family and social peace.
There is the story of how he caused a new born baby to speak in order to proclaim the innocence of his mother who had been unjustly accused of adultery by her jealous husband. Another time he healed a woman who had been mortally wounded by her jealous husband.