Amputation Miracles: St. Anthony of Padua

The story that St. Anthony of Padua healed an amputated foot is pretty widespread. A lot of scholars think it took place in Padua, but this earliest version has it taking place in Spain. The Padua versions seem to agree that the healed guy’s name was Leonardo, but I still haven’t found that text. I couldn’t find the original version of the “Legenda Rigaldina,” so I translated this into English from a Portuguese translation.

Legenda Rigaldina, by Jean Rigauld. Fontes Franciscana, vol. iii.

31. Another wonderful deed happened him when the saint found himself in Spain.

32. A young man, forgetting that respect which is due to a mother according to the Lord’s Commandments, and infuriated against his mother, the impious despiser and transgressor of that precept gave her such a violent kick that the lady fell onto the ground.

33. Deeply sorry after hearing a sermon by the saint, and transfixed by the sword of the Divine Word that came out of Anthony’s mouth, he confessed his sin with a bitter heart and eyes washed with tears.

34. Seeing him so repentant, the man of God imposed on him (among other things) that he should humbly ask his mother’s pardon.

35. When that man asked his mother’s pardon as directed, in conformity with the man of God’s penance, his mother said to him, “I forgive you with goodwill, but I think that God will not forgive an affront so serious.”

36. Pondering these words, the youth entered his room sadly and with a spirit not a little agitated. With an axe, he immediately amputated the foot with which he had offended his mother.

37. As a result of this, his blood came gushing out as he writhed in pain, so that his cries were joined by those of his mother when she saw him, and with all the neighborhood together.

38. As it happened, the man of God happened to pass that place, and when he was informed of the reason for so great a gathering, and when he also remembered hearing the confession of the one who kicked his mother, he entered that house.

39. He asked to see the youth; he asked for the amputated foot.

40. Holding it in his hand and relying on the power of God, Who cures our troubles of heart and thinks to heal our wounds, he placed the foot on the place where it was cut off.

41. When this was done, the foot joined itself to the rest of the flesh and the youth saw himself healed together without pain or scar.

42. This deed emphasized the value of contrition and confession to the youth, and proved the power of Anthony’s prayer.

Paintings and frescoes of this miracle were pretty popular in Italy.

“The Healing of the Wrathful Son” by Titian.

“Miracle of the Repentant Son,” by Donatello. Basilica di Sant’Antonio, Padua.

“St. Anthony of Padua and the Healing of the Wrathful Son,” by some follower of Andrea Meldolla. The son is hopping along on one foot, and the amputated foot is laying on the ground.

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Filed under Amputation Miracles, Saint Stories

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