Mangaluru, June 14, 2018: The main Annual St. Anthony Feast Eucharistic Celebration at Milagres Church on June 13 evening saw thousands of people converge to honour the saint of Miracles.
Most Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, the Bishop of Mangalore presided over the occasion - his message called on the people to develop concern and care for the people as St Anthony did during his short life of thirty six years. He lived a brief life but his legacy of good works are lofty. His special gifts of preaching and performing miracles brought the hands of God to the people and continues to this day. He used them for the good of others and never for his own benefit. That is why he is loved and venerated by the devotees even after eight centuries of his death. His powerful concern even now is felt by people especially when they are in need. The Bishop called on the people to share blessings with less fortunate as that will be the true honour offered to St Anthony on the occasion of his feast.
Earlier in day (Wednesday) at 10.30 a.m. the Bishop offered Holy Mass at Jeppu Ashram, with at least 2500 people and well organised in a peaceful atmosphere of joy and participation of around 400 inmates of the Ashram. In the homily, Rev Vinod Lobo touchingly highlighted the three marks of St.Anthony; the white lily, the book with the Christ child on it and the bread appeasing sufferings.
After the mass, the bishop blessed the foundation stone for a 100 bed state of the art hospice to be constructed at the campus to house mentally ill people. A two storied building which will accommodate fifty men and fifty women. It will have high grade modern facilities to take care of the mentally ill people securely. This block will be constructed to mark the completion of 120 years (1998-2018) of service of the Charity Institutes. The Chief Guest MLC Ivan D’Souza, Chief Whip of Karnataka Govt switched on picturesque representation/ blue print of the hospice building on the huge LED screen on the stage. He also promised Rs 5 Lakhs on behalf of the Govt for the new building.
This was followed by a forty five minutes Konkani Drama Saint Anthony Saint of Miracles. The concept of the Drama and creation was done Mr Vincent Fernandes from Cascia Church, script and direction was provided by Mr John M. Permannur. The message was that vows could best be fulfilled by helping immediate needy neighbours to honour the saints.
At the Milagres church, Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu the Vicar General of the Diocese offered a Holy Mass in the morning at 8.15 a.m. Fr Jacob Milton from St Joseph Seminary offered Holy Mass in Malayalam at 4.30 p.m.
Fr Onil D’Souza, the director on behalf of Fr Francis D’Souza, the administrator and Fr Thrishan D’Souza,the Asst director welcomed and thanked sponsors, volunteer and who have been working tirelessly to make the celebration meaningful one. Indeed it is seen by all as a miraculous effort and result. He also thanked all the devotees and invoked God’s choice blessings on them through the intercession of St Anthony. 60 priests and thousands of devotees participated in the 13 day celebration. The entire celebration was evidence what can be achieved when people of good will come together for the good of the community.
ST ANTONY’S CHARITY INSTITUTES
Fr Muller Road, Jeppu, Mangalore 575 002. Karnataka, India
Ph: 2418065 (Director), 2417065 (Office)
RECAP : St Anthony’s Ashram Jeppu : It was on June 12, 1898 Msgr. Michael Placid Colaco the then Asst Parish Priest of Milagres Church started Novena prayer to Saint Anthony. On the following day was the feast of Saint Anthony. A large number of people from around Mangalore gathered for the feast. Since then on every Tuesday Novena has been held in honour of Saint Anthony at the Shrine Altar at Milagres Church. People irrespective of caste and creed come to Saint Anthony in their need and never went away empty handed. That is the strong belief of Saint Anthony’s devotees. The Saint is specially invoked when any thing is lost, miracles happen it has been testified by many devotees. As the people received favours from the Saint the people in gratitude offered their mite in kind and cash. It was in turn distributed to the needy. Gradually houses were put up to house the destitute. In 1930 the land was purchased in court auction in which the present Ashram is situated at Jeppu. After purchasing the land houses were built and the inmates were moved to the present location in 1936. The Institutes also fed hundreds of hungry people every day during World War, when there was extreme poverty and people didn’t have enough food to eat. Rice was brought from Rangoon(Burma) to feed the hungry who used stand in long queues. At present there are over 400 destitute sheltered at the Ashram. All their needs are taken care free of cost. People irrespective of caste and creed are looked after here, people all over India and abroad have a special place for St.Anthony and this divine shelter Ashram in Mangaluru. Presently, Fr Onil D’Souza, is the director of the Institutes, Fr Francis D’Souza, is the Administrator, Fr Trishan D’Souza is the new Asst. Director. This Ashram is a heavenly blessing for many.