The Cross or Short Story of St. Anthony of Padua
A cloth or linen upon which a cross is inscribed along with the words “Ecce crucem Domini fugite Partes adversae / Vicit Leo de tribu Juda Radix David. Alleluia! Alleluia!” are written, which means “Behold the Cross of the Lord! Begone hostile enemies! The Lion of Juda, the Offspring of David has triumphed! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
The story of the brief of St. Anthony is as follows: In Portugal, in the reign of King Denis, there was a certain person exposed to the attacks of the devil. The enemy of our salvation appeared often under the figure of Jesus Crucified and persuaded her to throw herself into the Tagus, to obtain the remission of her sins, and the happiness of Heaven. The unfortunate creature, deceived by satan’s lies, decided one day to destroy herself. On her way to the river she entered a Franciscan Chapel, prostrating herself before the Altar of St. Anthony of Padua, she entreated the saint to help to save her soul, then terrified by the prospect of death, and overcome by fatigue, she fell asleep.
During her sleep, St. Anthony appeared to her and persuaded her to turn away from her fatal project, giving her a piece of parchment (cloth), which she was always to wear. On awakening, she found the precious leaflet hanging around her neck, on which was inscribed a few lines, known afterwards as the Brief or letter of St. Anthony. She immediately felt the efficacy of this Heavenly remedy; the temptation and obsession of Satan entirely disappeared.
St. Anthony of Padua is also known as the Hammer of Heretics and Wonderworker, a golden tongued Franciscan preacher, during his life St. Gregory IX had called him the “Ark of the Testament” because of his singular knowledge of the Scriptures. In 1946 he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
By wearing the brief one reminds satan of the everlasting victory inflicted upon him by the Lion of Juda.