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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Relics of St Anthony of Padua return to Britain: Large crowds expected to turn out for the Saint of lost things

Last time the relics of St Anthony visited Britain there were queues in cities and towns around the country as devotees flocked to honour their much loved Saint – the 13th century friar who was one of the earliest members of the Franciscan Order founded by St Francis in 1209.

This year, 2016, looks set to see a similar outpouring of devotion in Paisley, Middlesbrough, Salford (Manchester), Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Birmingham and Forest Gate London.

From the 19th to the 28th of June 2016, St Anthony will be visiting in the form of two relics, one of which is the relic Pope Francis venerated sixteen years ago in Argentina as Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.

The future pope led a procession through the streets of the Argentinian capital in 2000, carrying in his hands a reliquary containing a piece of St Anthony’s floating rib.

Francis’ devotion to St Anthony is due to the Saint’s love, care and concern for the poor and marginalised. Known for helping people find lost items, St Anthony intercedes with those trying to find a job, a home, faith, love, hope and mercy.

The relics will be accompanied by Fr Mario Conte, editor of the Messenger of St Anthony, the magazine published by the Conventual Franciscan Friars of Saint Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, Italy, where the Saint’s tomb is located.

In his writings, St Anthony often speaks of mercy, describing God as the ‘Father of Mercy’. Pope Francis has made mercy one of the primary focuses of his papacy and the Jubilee Year of Mercy is a special period of universal pardon, emphasising God’s forgiveness and mercy.

The relics will remain exposed during the Eucharistic Celebrations taking place on the dates and at the venues below. At the conclusion of each Mass, all those attending will be invited to approach the relics and to receive an extraordinary blessing.

RELIC TOUR PROGRAMME:

SUNDAY, 19th JUNE
PAISLEY, SCOTLAND
St Mirin’s Cathedral
T: 0141 889 2404
12.00noon; 2.30pm (Polish);
6.30pm: Masses
11.00am; 1.00-2.30pm; 3.30-
6.30pm; 7.15-8.00pm: Veneration

MONDAY, 20th JUNE
MIDDLESBROUGH
St Mary’s Cathedral
T: 01642 597750
12.00noon (Bishop Drainey);
6.30pm: Masses
9.00am (sung prayer); 1.00pm
(sermon-Fr. Mario); 4.30pm (choral vespers)
9.30-12.00noon; 1.30-4.30pm;
5.00-8.00pm: Veneration

FROM TUESDAY, 21st JUNE
TO WEDNESDAY, 22nd JUNE
MANCHESTER, SALFORD
St John’s Cathedral
T: 0161-817-2210
Tuesday: 12.10pm: Mass;
Veneration all day from 11.00am;
Wednesday: 10.00am: Mass
9.00-10.0am; 10.45am-12.10pm;
1.00pm till late afternoon: Veneration

THURSDAY 23rd JUNE
SHEFFIELD
Cathedral of St Marie
T: 0114-272-2522
12.45pm; 5.30pm: Masses
10.15-11.15am; 1.30-5.00pm;6.15-
7.00pm: Veneration
11.30-12.30 (Holy Hour); 12.30-12.45pm (Prayer)

FRIDAY, 24th JUNE
SHREWSBURY
Cathedral of Our Lady Help of
Christians
T: 01743.364.256
Veneration from 11am to 7.30pm
Masses: 12.15pm; 7.30pm

SATURDAY, 25th JUNE
BIRMINGHAM
St Chad’s Cathedral
T: 0121 236 5535
Mass 10.00am; 4.30pm Vigil Mass for Sunday
Veneration all day until 8pm

FROM SUNDAY, 26th JUNE
TO TUESDAY, 28th JUNE
LONDON
St. Anthony’s Parish
56 St. Anthony’s Road
Forest Gate
T: 020 8472 0433
Sunday: 12.00noon: Mass
1.00-8.00pm: Veneration
Monday: 7.45am;10.00am: Masses
Veneration all day
Tuesday: To be finalised

Picture: The relics of St Anthony of Padua on the altar in the Church of the Visitation, Fairview Dublin, in 2013. (Niall Carson/PA).