Louise Bouffier yawned as she fished about in her pocket for her key. The sun had not yet risen on Toulon, France, where she ran her bakery. She stifled another yawn as she produced the key and stuck it in the lock.
That’s when her morning went wrong. Try as she might, she could not turn that lock. Bread and baking had to wait as she ran for a locksmith to open her stubborn door.
The locksmith came. He could not unlock the door either.
“I’ll have to break the door down, Madame,” he said with a shake of his head, and went off for his break-in tools.
A broken door meant costly repairs. Louise lifted hands and eyes to heaven. “St. Anthony of Padua,” she prayed. “Help me open this door! If you do, I’ll give some of my bread to the poor.”
When the locksmith returned, he tested the door once more and it opened easily.
True to her word, Louise gave bread to the poor. Eventually, her friends took up the custom of giving away bread in thanksgiving for St. Anthony’s intercession. The custom spread quickly, morphing into a feast day tradition of gifting family and friends with blessed St. Anthony’s bread on the saintly monk’s feast.
Here’s a little prayer for blessing the bread:
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 Saviour, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Once you’ve blessed the bread, you’re going to want a proper board on which to cut it. Our Bless Us O Lord Cutting Board is just what you need! Beautiful, useful, and personalizable, this cutting board adds the perfect finishing touch to your kitchen and its wares. Carved with the mealtime prayer to emphasize your Catholic cuts. Available today at The Catholic Company!