Mangaluru, June 14,2017: As it has been in Mangaluru and surroundings for more than 119 years, for prior to it the feast was marked privately here as around the world. It is astonishing to note that year after year the piety, devotion and number of people has been on the rise in venerating St.Anthony of Padua. Many other shrines and churches around here too marked this solemn feast on June 13, Tuesday. Here the focus was in two places that the diocese and Catholics of the region hold sacred : The St.Anthony’s Ashram/Institutes at Jeppu and Milagres church in the center of the city.
Bishop of Mangalore, Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza offered the solemn festive Holy Mass along with at least 33 priests at Milagres Church. At the end of the Holy Mass he unveiled the poster containing the list of projects/programmes planned by the St Anthony Institutes as the Institutes enter into the 120 th year of blessings.
To name some of the main programmes in the list, medical help to 120 people suffering from major illness, 12 health check up camps, free stay for the poor students from rural areas who pursue their studies in the city, a three month training free of cost on taking care of sick and elderly, co-ordination of care taking agencies in Dakshina Kannada district, staging of drama on the life of Saint Anthony and so on.... In his message the Bishop highlighted and appreciated the charity works done by the
Institutes during the last 119 years. St Anthony’s Charity Institutes is one unique of its kind in the Catholic Church of India as it is run by a diocese, he stressed.
Rev Mathew Vas the Parish Priest of Guardian Angels Church Angelore preached a homily on Saint Anthony, Hope for the needy. In his homily he said that people from different walks of life irrespective of their caste and creed can be seen to seek
the intercession of St Anthony who never is known to let down anyone who comes to him in their need. The number of people flocking to the Shrine at Milagres, specially every Tuesdays is a proof for his unfailing help and his powerful intercession.
Earlier during the day a Holy Mass was offered at the Shrine in Milagres, for the sick and elderly, a Holy Mass in Malayalam was offered by Fr Jestin James from Trissur.
On June 13, at 11 am Rev Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu the Vicar General offered Holy Mass for the inmates of Ashram and special invitees. Devotees from Patna, Hyderabad and Maharashtra along with large number of local people participated in the festive mass which was a note worthy matter. For the first time in the Ashram at Jeppu, a tradition was initiated where a special novena was held each day at noon from May 31, marking 13 days in a run up to this feast......surprisingly the attendance and devotion was unexpectedly high.
Fr Onil D’Souza the director of the Institues, Fr Francis D’Souza the administrator and Fr Peter Gonsalves the asst director were present for all the Holy Masses and laid hands over the devotees and blessed them. Relics of St.anthony, were also open for veneration.
St. ANTHONY OF PADUA, 1195-1231 A.D. : St.Anthony of Padua, also venerated asSaint Anthony of Lisbon, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, which was then a part of Spain, in 1195 A.D.His life is a legend that can be read in many ways, his extraordinary love for Christ and the poor transformed him to serve all mankind. On June 13,1231, the beloved preacher became ill he died at the young age of 36. His body was buried in a chapel, which is now enclosed by the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua. In 1263, when his remains were transferred to the Basilica, his tongue was found to be still fresh and red in color.Saint Anthony was declared a saint 352 days after his death, by the same Pope Gregory he had met in life. St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most famous disciples of St. Francis of Assisi. He was a famous preacher and worker of miracles in his day, and throughout the eight centuries since his death, he has become known throughout the world as a wonderful support for suffering people.