This ritual began when my oldest was three years old and I found her in her shoes, socks, and rolled-up pants immersed in a muddle of puddle with the simple explanation that: “I’m just trying to walk on water like Jesus, Mama.”
It’s an altogether different scene though when raucous thunder and neon veins of lightning herald April showers and the NOAH radio alarm peels off to warn us of severe thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes because then my anxious children know to grab the Prayer Against Storms and to bunker down in the basement safe room.
The Prayer Against storms, ladies and gentlemen, right here, if you don’t already have it in your Pieta Prayer Book: (Make the sign of the cross on the + symbol)
Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. + God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. + Christ was born of a virgin. + Christ suffered. + Christ was crucified. + Christ died. + Christ rose from the dead. + Christ ascended into Heaven. + Christ conquers. + Christ reigns. + Christ orders. + May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning. + Christ went through their midst in Peace, + and the Word was made Flesh. + Christ is with us with Mary. + Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Juda, the Root of David, was won. + Holy God! + Holy Powerful God ! + Holy Immortal God! + Have mercy on us. Amen!
This Prayer Against Storms can be traced to a little known legend about St. Anthony. It is said that in the 13th century, a pilgrim priest visited a convent and church near Lisbon, Portugal which had been plagued by severely damaging annual storms. The pilgrim priest wrote a prayer for the convent and left it with the gatekeeper before he disappeared without a trace. The convents residents posted the prayer and were never harmed by any subsequent storms. The same prayer was ordered published by Pope Innocent III, which has made its way to your regular Pieta Prayer Book. In a private revelation, Our Lady supposedly revealed that the same priest is no other than St. Anthony.
For my part, my devotion to this miracle worker stems from gratitude that he always answers when I chant: “Tony, tony turn around something’s lost and must be found.” Missing eyeglasses, library books, keys, cellphones and wandering toddlers mysteriously pop up just right before I have a heart attack. Lately, I’m learning to invoke St. Anthony’s intercession when I’m losing my bearings against the ferocious storms of life. May he obtain for me the grace to have a faith that can hold on to Jesus’ hand if He leads me to walk on water.