St. Anthony relics get ‘rockstar welcome’

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Thousands line up to venerate the visiting relics of St. Anthony de Padua, known for his powerful intercession for locating lost things. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

PARAÑAQUE City, Apr. 21, 2016 – It was a welcome pop superstars would have envied as thousands of Catholics lined up Wednesday, Apr. 20, to venerate the relics of St. Anthony of Padua at a church in Parañaque.

“Whenever I lose something, I ask St. Anthony’s intercession. And he always helps me find it … I also pray for good health,” said a 73-year old grandmother who attested to the efficacy of asking for the intercession of the Portuguese miracle-worker and Doctor of the Church.

According to her, she came all the way from Batangas City to the San Antonio de Padua Parish in Barangay Valley 1, Parañaque City with fellow devotees for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pay respect to the remains of their heavenly patron.

In a video clip, Fr. Mario Conte, one of 52 friars serving at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy, and editor of the “Messenger of St. Anthony,” explained that two first-class relics on pilgrimage are a piece of the saint’s skin encased in a reliquary in the form of a bust, and a fragment of his rib.

The Franciscan shared that the latter was received by no less than Sr. Lucy of Fatima in Coimbra, Portugal in 1995, and also by the future Pope Francis when he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

The relics were welcomed earlier with a Holy Mass at the Shrine of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus in Pasay to formally kick off the pilgrimage which last happened 20 years ago in 1996.

From San Antonio de Padua Parish in Parañaque, these are scheduled to be displayed in selected parishes, chapels, and shrines across the country until May 2, as follows:

  • St. Anthony of Padua Parish,Singalong, Manila, April 21, 7:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m.
  • San Lazaro Chapel, Santa Cruz, Manila
  • Makati Medical Center, Makati City
  • National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Makati City
  • St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Mandaluyong City
  • St. Anthony Parish, Silang, Cavite
  • Diocese of Palo, Tacloban City, Leyte
  • St. Anthony of Padua Shrine, Guiuan, Eastern Samar
  • St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Batasan Hills, Quezon City
  • Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Antipolo City
  • St. Anthony of Padua Shrine, Pila, Laguna
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Malabon City
  • St. Anthony Parish, Tonsuya, Malabon City
  • St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel, Las Piñas City, Concluding Mass, May 2, 5:00 p.m.

For the specific dates and times, devotees are advised to contact the participating churches.

For further information, interested parties may visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1704529626444647/. (Jaztyn Kevin S. Sitchon / CBCP News with Raymond A. Sebastián)

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