Pilgrims are being given the chance to see the 13th Century remains of St Anthony which go on display in a glass case today in Italy.
The display, which will last until Saturday will be in chapel of his tomb in Padua and marks the feast of the transfer of St Anthony, also known as the 'feast of the tongue'. This commemorates the first time his remains were moved in 1263, under the direction of St Bonaventure, and the final transfer to Relics Chapel of Padua's Basilica on February 15 1350.
St Anthony, patron saint of Padua, is also known as Anthony of Lisbon. When his coffin was moved 30 years after his burial it was opened and it is claimed most of his body was found to have returned to dust. However his tongue remained fresh, which was seen as a sign of his gift of preaching, and was kept in a separate relic box. Anthony's relics were last displayed in 1981, marking the 750th anniversary of his death. He is one of the 'quickest' saints in the history of the Catholic Church as he was canonized by Pope Gregory IX less than one year after he died.
Today he is one of the most famous saints and is often called upon by Catholics to help find lost possessions. He is also remembered as the namesake for the city of San Antonio, Texas; Spanish explorers in the area stopped there on his feast day (June 13) and named the river and settlement after him.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Only us Catholics would get excited about this: