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Visit of the relics of St Anthony begins in Cahir today

By Sarah Mac Donald - 09 June, 2016

“Everywhere we go we want people to have a special moment with him. When I watch people praying in front of the Saint’s relics I can see that something is happening to them; some are crying, others look so relieved.”

St Anthony RELIC 43

The relics of St Anthony begin their visit to Ireland today in St Mary’s parish in Cahir, Co Tipperary.

Between 9-28 June thousands of devotees will turn out to welcome back their much loved Saint to venues across Ireland and Britain.

St Anthony will be visiting in the form of two relics, one of which is the relic Pope Francis venerated sixteen years ago in Argentina as Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.

The future Pope led a procession through the streets of the Argentinian capital in 2000, carrying in his hands a reliquary containing a piece of St Anthony’s floating rib.

Francis’ devotion to St Anthony stems from the Saint’s love, care and concern for the poor and marginalised. Known for helping people find lost items, St Anthony intercedes with those trying to find a job, a home, faith, love, hope and mercy.

In his writings, St Anthony often speaks of mercy, describing God as the ‘Father of Mercy’. Pope Francis has made mercy one of the primary focuses of his papacy and the Jubilee Year of Mercy is a special period of universal pardon, emphasising God’s forgiveness and mercy.

Padua-based Greyfriar, Fr Mario Conte, Editor of the Messenger of Saint Anthony magazine will accompany the relics – a small piece of the Saint’s floating rib and layers of cheek skin.

According to Fr Mario Conte, “There is nothing superstitious about relics. The real meaning of a relic is love – they are a link of love between the person who venerates and the saint.”

Fr Mario makes as many as three trips a year to places as far apart as the US and the Philippines and Australia.

“Everywhere we go we want people to have a special moment with him. When I watch people praying in front of the Saint’s relics I can see that something is happening to them; some are crying, others look so relieved.”

“Then people come to me and tell me what happened to them; the graces they were given or what they were asking for.”

“I know I am unworthy; I am a poor sinner, but people consider me St Anthony’s travelling companion. I am so humbled. I feel so grateful to St Anthony that he gave me such a great gift to be so close to him, as it is a privilege to be with St Anthony.”

“St Anthony is the Apostle of God’s mercy. In his lifetime he was an exceptional preacher. Wherever he went thousands came to listen to his sermons; he couldn’t preach in churches as they were too small; he had to preach in the town squares.”

“Anthony was also an apostle of individual confession. He listened to confessions for hours on end after his preaching. In one of his sermons he calls confession the “gate to heaven”. He wrote that “through Confession a worldly person is converted and becomes Christi’s little child, so we should all be happy and shout ‘a child is born to us’.”

“St Anthony is the patron saint of lost things. But people often don’t know the story of how this devotion started. St Anthony was the first teacher of theology in the Franciscan Order, and he had the job of teaching new friars.”

“To help him do this, he had a copy of the Gospels that he had annotated with his own notes for teaching (this was before there were printed books, and all books had to be hand written). A young friar, a student of his, found the book and stole it. He took the book to the market place to sell it. The young friar thought he would get a lot of money for it as it belonged to St Anthony who many people already considered to be a saint.”

“Poor St Anthony couldn’t find his Gospel book so he prayed to God to help him find it. At the same time the young friar had a terrible vision, so he ran back to St Anthony and returned the book to him.”

“So in a certain way the practice of praying for help in finding lost things comes from this episode. Sometimes we pray for little things like help in finding a pair of glasses or a parking place, but St Anthony worked the miracle to find the Word of God.”

“He is always happy to help families regain faith. Faith is even more important than health; if you have faith you can accept everything, even a deadly sickness. When you feel the love of God within you, you can get through anything.”

RELIC TOUR PROGRAMME

Ireland June 9 – 17

THURSDAY, JUNE 9
TIPPERARY CAHIR
St Mary’s Parish
T:052 7443447
12noon; 7.30 pm: Masses;
Veneration from after 12 noon Mass

FRIDAY, JUNE 10
KILLARNEY
St Mary’s Cathedral
T: 064 6631014
10.30am; 6.15 pm: Masses;
Veneration all day

SATURDAY, JUNE 11
KNOCK
Basilica of Our Lady
T: 094 9388100
3.00pm (Polish); 7.30 pm: Masses
11.00am: Veneration all day

SUNDAY, JUNE 12
SLIGO
St Mary’s Cathedral
T: 071 9162670
12.00noon; 7.00pm: Masses
Veneration all day after 12noon Mass

MONDAY, JUNE 13 Saint Anthony’s Feast Day
DUBLIN
St Mary’s Pro Cathedral
T: 353 1 874 5441
Masses 12.45pm; 5.45pm with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Veneration continues between Masses up to 8pm

TUESDAY, JUNE 14
LONGFORD
St Mel’s Cathedral
T: 043 334 6465
1.00pm; 6.30pm (with Bishop Duffy):
Masses; Veneration all day

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15
THURSDAY, JUNE
16
DERRY
St Eugene’s Cathedral
T: 028 7137 7494

Wednesday 15 June
Formal welcome of the relics at St Eugene’s at 12noon
Veneration continues until 7.30pm Mass
Veneration continues after Mass until 10pm

Thursday 16 June
Mass 8am and 10am
Veneration continues up to 1pm.

THURSDAY, JUNE 16
FRIDAY, JUNE
17
ARMAGH
St Patrick’s Cathedral
T: 028 3752 2802

Thursday 16 June
Veneration from 4.00pm
7.30pm Mass with Archbishop Eamon Martin

Friday 17 June
Mass 10am
Veneration continues until 1pm

 

Britain June 19 – 28

SUNDAY, JUNE 19
PAISLEY, SCOTLAND
St Mirin’s Cathedral
T: 0141 889 2404
11am Bishop John Keenan will process relics from diocesan office to cathedral
Masses: 12.00noon with Bishop John Keenan; 2.30pm (Polish); 6.30pm
Veneration: 11.00am; 1.00-2.30pm; 3.30-6.30pm; 7.15-8.00pm

MONDAY, JUNE 20
MIDDLESBROUGH
St Mary’s Cathedral
T: 01642 597750
12.00noon (Bishop Drainey); 6.30pm: Masses
9.00am (sung prayer); 1.00pm (sermon-Fr. Mario); 4.30pm (choral vespers)
9.30-12.00noon; 1.30-4.30pm; 5.00-8.00pm: Veneration

FROM TUESDAY, JUNE 21
TO WEDNESDAY, JUNE
22
MANCHESTER, SALFORD
St John’s Cathedral
T: 0161-817-2210

Tuesday: 12.10pm: Mass;
Veneration all day from 11.00am;

Wednesday: 10.00am: Mass
9.00-10.0am; 10.45am-12.10pm; 1.00pm till late afternoon: Veneration

THURSDAY JUNE 23
SHEFFIELD
Cathedral of St Marie
T: 0114-272-2522
Masses: 12.45pm with Bishop Ralph Heskett; 5.30pm:
Veneration: 10.15-11.15am; 1.30-5.00pm;6.15-7.00pm
11.30-12.30 (Holy Hour); 12.30-12.45pm (Prayer)

FRIDAY, JUNE 24
SHREWSBURY
Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians
T: 01743.364.256
Veneration from 11am to 7.30pm
Masses: 12.15pm; 7.30pm

SATURDAY, JUNE 25
BIRMINGHAM
St Chad’s Cathedral
T: 0121 236 5535
Mass 10.00am; 4.30pm Vigil Mass for Sunday
Veneration all day until 8pm

FROM SUNDAY, JUNE 26
TO TUESDAY, JUNE
28
LONDON
St. Anthony’s Parish
56 St
. Anthony’s Road
Forest Gate
T: 020 8472 0433

Sunday: Mass 12.00noon:
Veneration 1pm to 8pm:

Monday: Masses 7.45am;10am: 6pm with Bishop Alan Williams
Veneration 1pm to 8pm:

Tuesday: Mass 10am
Veneration from 10.30am to 3pm

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