Closing the Week of Viewing the Body of the Saint

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 08:46
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February 20 concludes the extraordinary viewing of the body of St. Anthony on the occasion of his transfer to the recently restored tomb. Friar Jerzy Norel, Vicar General of the Order presided at the 7 PM Mass. Our confrere, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, Regent of the Apostolic Penitenzeria, presided at the 5 PM Mass. At 9 PM, in the presence of numerous Friars who had come together from many Provinces, the relics were entombed in the sixteenth century Arch which has had its marble restored to the original splendor.

Last Monday, February 15, the Feast of the Transfer of the Relics of the Saint, the body of St. Anthony was exposed for the veneration of the faithful. The Friars of the Basilica in Padua, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, and under the direction of the structures of the Order and the city officials, received thousands of pilgrims throughout the whole week. On Friday, the 19th alone, some 25 thousand passed by the display of Anthony. There have been more than 200 thousand total.

These devout people waited for more than two hours in silence and in the pouring rain, to gain access to the chapel where the sacred relics were exposed, providing a great impression upon the Friars observing this devotion. It was a great experience of the faith of the people, the simple people of Anthony, served with dedication for 8 centuries by the Franciscan confreres who have given over their devotion to this Saint.

The number and quality of sacramental confessions were noted by the confessors, who shared this ministry with a number of Friars that came to offer their help, showing as pilgrims from every part of the world, a clear understanding of conversion and interior renewal preached and lived by St. Anthony.

The catechesis of the Holy Father on Wednesday, February 10 , was dedicated to the Evangelical Doctor, certainly gave attention to the faithful and the occasion of the viewing of St. Anthony, and offered to the Friars, an interior text for personal meditation for these days, and for preaching to the people who filled the Basilica.

For this occasion, the Friars of the Messenger of St. Anthony, in close collaboration with the Friars of the Basilica of the Saint, have put together a web site in Italian and English with the news, photos, and video of these intense and memorable days:  http://www.santantonio.org/ostensionedelsanto2010

A webcam was viewing day and night, for those who were not able to view the urn containing the bones of the Saint in person.  This can be viewed at:  http://www.telechiara.it/live2.php

Other web reports are available on the official web site of the Province:  http://www.provinciapatavina.org/ita/pagina.asp?id=259&t=pagine