For years people have faithfully visited the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa to see the relics of St. Francis Xavier.It is a pilgrimage of the masses from near and far, religion no bar. Goa has a lot of highly faithful Catholics that look forward to such occasions. In fact, just yesterday, the relics of St. Anthony of Padua were brought to Goa for the faithful to venerate. Thousands of people stood in line for veneration.
Who was St. Anthony of Padua?
St. Anthony of Padua is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints. He is the patron saint of lost and stolen articles and was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher. He’s typically portrayed holding the child Jesus—or a lily—or a book—or all three—in his arms. Many people give alms to St. Anthony Bread in thanksgiving to God for blessings received through the prayers of St. Anthony.
St. Anthony of Padua’s life was what every Christian’s life is meant to be; a steady courage to face the ups and downs of life, the call to love and forgive, to be concerned for the needs of others, to deal with crisis great and small, and to have our feet solidly on the ground of total trusting love and dependence on God.
St Anthony died on June 13, 1231, and was buried in a little church outside the walls of Padua. In 1263, his remains were transferred to a newly constructed basilica. When his coffin was opened, bones and ashes were found, but his vocal apparatus was intact. His tongue, in particular, was still red and soft. That was deemed a miracle. (Source – article in TOI)
The relics of St. Anthony of Padua will be in Goa till Monday
There are two original sacred relics— a fragment of St Anthony’s petrified flesh in a beautiful bust and his smallest rib in a casket. These have been brought from Rome and will be kept at Monte de Guirim and Navelim for veneration. While the first relic—the petrified flesh in a bust— will be kept for public veneration, the rib in the casket will be used to bless the faithful.
The relics were brought to the Monte de Guirim church yesterday, Friday. These holy relics were displayed and venerated at the Alverno Friary. Thousands thronged the hill in a show of faith and devotion to the relics of St. Anthony of Padua.
Special arrangements were made on the first day to make sure that the veneration went smoothly. Senior citizens were provided with a vehicle to transport them to the chapel. Water bottles were provided to devotees to help them quench their thirst.
The relics will now be taken to the Padre Pio Friary at Moddi, Navelim for veneration South Goa. They will be open to veneration from the afternoon of March 3 till the afternoon of March 4. the Padre Pio Friary.