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The 13 Tuesdays is a very old tradition, thought to have begun shortly after Saint Anthony's death in 1231. Tuesday was chosen as the day for this devotion because Saint Anthony entered into eternal life on a Tuesday.
Just why is Tuesday designated as St. Anthony’s day? It was on the Tuesday after his death that his body was transferred from Arcella to Padua and buried there in the chapel of Our Lady. On this Tuesday, innumerable miracles were wrought at his tomb, as though God Almighty wanted to open the floodgates of His graces. And those gates have not been closed to the present time. For on Tuesday, June 17, 1231, the day of St. Anthony’s burial at Santa Maria Mater Domini in Padua, all the sick who gathered about his tomb and implored his intercession, were healed and made whole. At once, the people of Padua began to dedicate Tuesday to St. Anthony, and this practice quickly spread throughout the whole Catholic world. St. Anthony, by lending his ear to countless petitions, has shown his pleasure in this devotion and the Holy Father has given full approbation to it.
Many loyal devotees make a novena petitioning a request; and after receiving the favor, another novena in thanksgiving. Some of the more pious perform a special act of penance or charity on Tuesday.