A relic of St Anthony of Padua will be coming to Britain and Ireland later this year to mark the 750th anniversary of the discovery of the saint’s remains by St Bonaventure in 1263.
So far this year St Anthony’s relics have visited New York in
February, California in April and Chicago, Canada and South Australia in
Fr Mario Conte, international editor of the Messenger of St Anthony
magazine, will bring the relics from St Anthony’s Basilica in Padua to
the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland on October 17-25 and then to
Scotland, northern England and London on October 26-November 3.
A spokeswoman said the visit will involve all members of the
Franciscan family – OFM Conventual, OFM, Capuchins and the Poor Clares.
Fr Conte led a previous visit of relics of St Anthony to Britain in
The 13th-century St Anthony of Padua is the much-loved patron saint
of lost things. St Francis of Assisi chose him to teach theology to
members of his new Franciscan order and he is a Doctor of the Church.
St Anthony’s most famous relic, his tongue, which was found incorrupt
when his grave was opened in 1263, 32 years after his death, is too
fragile to leave the basilica, Fr Conte told The Catholic Herald. He
will instead be bringing a statue holding a reliquary containing some of
the saint’s skin.
There is nothing at all superstitious about relics, he said: “It’s
love that is the real meaning of a relic, a link of love between you and
The visit to Britain and Ireland was suggested by Fr James McCurry,
OFM Conv, the Minister Provincial for the St Anthony of Padua Province
of Conventual Franciscan Friars in the USA.