S.A.G. St Anthony Guide -Miraculous letter deliveries

Miraculous mail deliveries in the lives of the Saints

S.A.G. (St. Anthony Guide) -The miracle letter deliveries of St Anthony of Padua

It has become a popular practice for people to write "S.A.G." on their envelopes prior to posting them in the mail. The letters stand for "St Anthony Guide" because of the miraculous story below.

During his lifetime, God was pleased to work countless miracles in the life of the Franciscan Priest St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) and his reputation for sanctity was universally acclaimed. So in a sense it is not surprising then that immediately after the death of St. Anthony the miracles worked at his tomb were so prodigious that the Bishop of Padua petitioned the Vatican for his canonization. A judicial inquiry was instituted without delay, and by an exception regarded as unparalleled in history, on May 30, 1232 Pope Gregory IX, solemnly pronounced the decree of canonization, only eleven months after Anthony's death. His mother and two sisters who survived him had the extraordinary and extremely rare privilege of witnessing the canonization ceremony and joining in the festivities that followed the announcement. Those familiar with the canonisation process know that such a speedy canonization is unheard of in the Catholic Church, as the normal process requires much study into the life of the proposed Saint, and as such they are normally canonised decades and quite often centuries after their deaths. Such was the remarkable holiness of St Anthony.

The origin of the initials "S.A.G." and why they are often marked on envelopes is this:

A Spanish merchant named Antonio Dante left Spain for South America in 1729 to establish a business in Lima, Peru. His wife, who remained in Spain, wrote a number of letters to him without receiving a reply. After many months full of worry and with the utmost faith and simplicity, she brought a letter with her to the Church of St. Francis at Oviedo. [St Francis and St Anthony were close friends and companions during their lifetime.]

In the church there was a large statue of St. Anthony, and she placed a letter to her husband into his outstretched hand and prayed the following prayer with confidence, asking for his heavenly intercession:
"St. Anthony, I pray to thee; let this letter reach him and obtain for me a speedy reply."

The next day she returned to the church and saw that her letter was still there. Weeping in frustration that her letter had not been delivered, she attracted the attention of the Brother sacristan who listened to her story. Afterward, he told her that he had tried to remove the letter but could not, and he asked the lady if she would try to remove it. She tried, and she did so with ease.

The letter she retieved from the hand of the statue of St Anthony was not the one that she placed there the day before; it was a letter from her husband. As she removed the letter from his hand, three hundred golden coins fell from the sleeve of the statue.

Astonished, a number of the friars were called and ran to the scene and waited while the miraculous letter was opened. The letter was dated July 23, 1729 and read:

"My dearest wife. For some time I have been expecting a letter from you, and I have been greatly troubled and concerned at not hearing from you. But at last your letter has come, and given me joy. It was a Father of the Order of St. Francis who brought it to me. You complain that I have left your letters unanswered. I assure you that when I did not receive any from you I believed you must be dead, and so you may imagine my happiness at the arrival of your letter. I answer you now by the same religious Father, and send you three hundred golden crowns [coins], which should suffice for your support until my approaching return.

In the hope of soon being with you, I pray God for you, and I commend myself to my dear patron St. Anthony, and ardently desire that you may continue to send me tidings of yourself.
Your most affectionate,
Antonio Dante"

The original letter, written in Spanish, is affectionately kept and preserved at the Franciscan Monastery in Oviedo. In memory of this event, the practice of writing S.A.G. (St. Anthony Guide) on letters has became popular, thereby placing the letters under the protection of St Anthony whom they trust will get the letter safely to its proper destination.

The Angelic Letter Deliveries in the Life of St. Gemma Galgani
Another more recent case of miraculous mail deliveries occured in the extraordinary life of the 20th century stigmatic and mystic Saint Gemma Galgani (1878-1903).

In the "Life of St Gemma Galgani" written by her spiritual director, Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo, a few years after her death we read how the extraordinary mystic was on such familiar terms with her Guardian Angel that she sometimes entrusted her letters to him for safe delivery:

"One day, with the most charming simplicity, she prayed to her spiritual director's angel to take the letter she had written to him. Being familiar with the angel, she had no doubt as to the result. Already living dependent on the charity of the Giannini family [whom she was living with], she did not like to make additional requests in asking for stamps. She did not always proceed in this extraordinary manner, thus her recourse to the angel was not continual, yet not a single one of all the letters that she thus committed to him was lost."

In light of these extraordinary Angelic deliveries, her director, Ven Father Germanus C.P., wanted to conduct a "test" and so he instructed Gemma to give the letters she wanted to send him by the Angel to Cecilia Giannini, who was told to lock them in a place unknown to Gemma. Gemma lived in Lucca, Italy while her spiritual director lived several hundred miles away in Rome.

And so on June 11, 1901 Gemma wrote a letter to her spiritual director seeking guidance on some spiritual matters, as she often did. She then gave a letter to Cecilia, (as previously requested by her spiritual director), who in turn gave it to Father Lorenzo Agrimonti, who was a priest living at that time with the Giannini family. Father Lorenzo immediately locked it in a chest in his own room and put the key in his pocket.

During the afternoon of the next day, Gemma saw in a vision the Angel passing by with her letter on his way to Rome to deliver it to Ven. Father Germanus, and so Cecilia immediately notified Father Lorenzo. They found that the letter had, in fact, disappeared from its secret location, and to their greater amazement they later discovered that the letter was received, as usual, by her spiritual director, unstamped of course.

To prove the matter yet another time, the same experiment was undertaken--a letter of Gemma's to her director was once again handed over to Father Lorenzo. He secretly hid the envelope between two pictures, one of St. Gabriel Possenti and the other of St. Paul of the Cross. This took place on May 22, 1901. The next day Gemma announced that her Angel had taken away the letter and the delivery of which was once again confirmed by her spiritual director, to the utter amazement of everyone involved. It is no wonder then that Ven. Father Germanus in his book on the life of St Gemma calls them "angelic letters".

And about Gemma and her guardian Angel, her spiritual director Ven. Father Gemanus writes- "Gemma, seeing the great charity her angel lavished upon her, loved her angel immensely, and his name was always on her tongue as well as in her heart.
‘Dear Angel’ she would say ‘I love you so!’
‘And why’ the Angel asked.
‘Because you teach me how to be good, and to keep humble, and to please Jesus'."

More details of the Angelic letter deliveries in the life of St Gemma Galgani can be found here.


Joseph said...

St. Gemma is one of my favorite saints and the link at the bottom of the page to the article about Gemma and her guardian angel was awesome---and to think that she lived only 100 years ago!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Nice website!!!!
I like your "Mystics of the Church" website too! Great work...

Anonymous said...

Gemma's spiritual director Fr. Germano would find Gemma's letters mysteriously placed on his desk, without any explanation of how they arrived there...he would step out of his office for a moment and upon his return the letter would be placed there...the would have no stamp on them....they where often written the same day, and Gemma lived 500 miles away.

Mimi said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful miraculous stories. They always give a boost to my faith. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I truly believe in miracles! God work his ways mysteriously! And I love everything and anything about story of miracles!

Imelda said...

Believe and faith really works! Mother Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ worked side by side looking forward to be reached out!!! Pls. Pray everyday.... Zealously. Miracles really happens in their own way....May God Bless Us All!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful morning to read this when I truly need a miracle.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, I am a witness of God's miracles through St Anthony, I came back from Overseas on April 27th 2014, but only last week I realized that my 18k gold bracelet was stolen just few days after my return to the States. The bracelet was kept in the closet's drawer and the only person who had access to that room aside my parents and sister was the maid, whom I discovered stole other things before. Long story short, 5 days ago (May 5) I prayed to St Anthony without any hope or faith about recovering my bracelet, and today I got a call from overseas from my mother that it was found under the bed. I can't thank enough to my Jesus fof listening to my prayer through st Anthony.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I meant to say before my return to the states

Emil Joseph said...

My sister lost her wallet which had her two credit cards, debit card, Social insurance card, drivers licence, health card...basically her whole life in it. She lost in her university and gave a complaint there. After a few days, we gave a complaint at the local police station as well fearing identity theft and whatnot. Where we live, there is a St Anthony's parish and there's perpetual Adoration so my sister and I went there one day and we prayed and begged for St. Anthony's intercession. My sister did St Anthony's novena 9 times a day.
About three weeks passed since she lost her wallet. One day my dad was getting mail from our communal mailbox and found an envelop which had my sister's name and address (and nothing else written on it, not even a stamp or anything) and inside it was her wallet, in same condition as she lost it; everything intact.
We figured the person who found it had left it in the mail box, but only mail man can access the communal mailbox and only my family has the other key. I don't know how the wallet got it there, but I cant thank our Lord enough for listening to us through the intercession of our beloved St. Anthony.

omee said...

I praise God for this boost to my faith. I have been going Lukewarm. Thank you I entrust myself to the guidance of St . Anthony and St Gemma. Amen

Bernadette said...

St Anthony performed a lovely miracle for me. It was my Honeymoon, and on the last day me and my husband decided to go on a boat with a group, out in the ocean and go snorkelling. It was quite deep/ a lot of coral reefs (completely beautiful).

We were swimming around, however, the water freezed my husbands hand and his wedding ring slipped off into the ocean, he tried to grab it but it was gone. We both prayed to St Anthony (even though my husband isn't catholic) we also told a girl on board who was able to swim down to the bottom as she was the photographer. We had twenty minutes to find it before we left.

Luckily, despite being in the ocean and only twenty minutes, and being meeter's deep -We got it back!! The girl found it! It was a miracle, I put my faith in St Anthony and we got our wedding ring back in time before we left the ocean.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Angela. Me and my husband were trying to conceive but it was not happening. So I prayed to St Anthony and became pregnant. Not just that I had complications during my third semester and we were so worried, but we had a healthy baby boy. Every time I prayed to St Anthony he helped us. He is truly the saint of miracles.

Rohit Kumar said...

My fathet has been declared dead 21 hrs before.
He was on dialysis since 4 month
Name Ashok Kumar 59yrs Male
place Patna bihar India
He wants to be alive
If possible, any miracle, please bring him back