Saturday, June 13, 2015

St. Anthony of Padua

It's so fun for me to see a saint's feast day on the calendar and think, "Hey, I was there!"

Today is the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.

On our pilgrimage in October of 2012, Bunny, Sedric, and I made a quick stop in Padua on our way to Rome.  Here are pictures of the Basilica:

not my picture :o)
It is tradition to buy a candle and offer it at the
tomb.  Fr. Peter bought this for the whole group.

not my picture
One of the most striking things about this visit was the Reliquary.  There were SO many relics!  It felt a bit odd--and awesome--to see the actual pieces of saints: a tongue, lungs, skin, bones, etc.  

This is his tongue.
(not my picture)
(This link has a very good "tour" of the
church, and an explanation of the relics.)
Saint Anthony of Padua died in 1231 and in 1263 when his body was transferred to a new Basilica, his body was found to have disintegrated except for his tongue and vocal cords, both of which are now on display in reliquaries in the Basilica of Saint Anthony. (source)

Beautiful, simple courtyards.
Fr. Peter said Mass in a chapel right outside the main church.
The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua (Sant'Antonio da Padova) is the largest church in Padua. Construction of the Basilica probably began around 1235, nineteen years after the death of St. Anthony. It was completed in 1301 although several structural modifications  took place between the end of the 14th and the mid 15th century. The Saint, according to his will, had been buried inthe small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, probably dating from the late 12th century and near which a convent was founded by him in 1229. This church was incorporated into the present basilica as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna). Saint Anthony is a giant edifice without a precise architectural style. Over the centuries, it has grown under a variety of different influences as shown by the exterior details. The new basilica was begun as a single-naved church, with an apsidal chancel, broad transepts and two square nave bays roofed with hemispherical domes. The style was Romanesque. Later in the 13th century, the aisles were added in a more Gothic style, the length of each nave bay being divided into two aisle bays with arches and vaults. The interior of the church contains numerous funerary monuments, some of noteworthy artistic value. The Chapel of the Holy Sacrament (Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento) with its broad bands of polychrome and carved Gothic details has had many stages of decoration

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