14 June 2017

Celebration of St. Anthony's Feast Day in Jerusalem

On June 13, the celebration of the Feast of St. Anthony, one of the doctors of the Church, took place! He is one of the most beloved, popular and known saints around the world! He is also the patron saint of the Custody of the Holy Land.

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For Christians in Jerusalem, June 13 is a day of celebration, prayers and thanksgiving for the blessings received through the intercession of St. Anthony.

Custos of the Holy Land
"A saint who had great popularity in our order and whom the people from the Holy Land invoked as a patron in times of great difficulty. Even during the wars, people in the Holy Land would seek St. Anthony's protection. Later, the Pope officially declared St. Anthony Patron of the Custody of the Holy Land.”

On this day, the children, following a local tradition, wore a small brown tunic, to pay tribute to this friar of the same generation of St. Francis!

Br. Mario Hadshiti
Parish Priest - Jericho
"It is an ancient tradition, perpetuated by our ancestors, to ask St. Anthony for protection and help ... this tradition gives birth to this devotion in the heart of a child, because faith is also transmitted through me, through you, through anyone ...faith in the saints and particularly faith in St. Anthony.”

Miral Kiryakons
Christian woman - Jerusalem
"The Feast of St. Anthony is special for me: St. Anthony is my patron saint, protector of my family. We decided to dress our son George like St. Anthony as a symbol of our devotion. George has been wearing it since June 13th of last year and he will take it off today, a year later. We pray St. Anthony to protect him and our family and to bring peace in our lives.”

In the Church of St. Savior, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, presided over a solemn Mass. In addition to the Franciscans, religious and local Christians, there were also representatives of other Christian communities and religious denominations.

In his homily, Father Francesco Patton recalled some aspects of the saint born in Lisbon, Portugal, who died young at age 36, in Padua, Italy. He drew attention to three characteristics of Anthony: a man who spent his life in prayer and contemplation, who did not spare in the preaching of the Gospel and who served the poor, following the example of Christ himself.

At the end of the celebration, Father Patton renewed the consecration of the Custody of the Holy Land to St. Anthony, the most beloved saint all over the world and also here in the Holy Land!

Br. Mario Hadshiti
Parish Priest - Jericho
"St. Anthony is important to us, as friars, because he lived the Word of God in his life. He encourages us to live the Word of God here in the Holy Land, even in the midst of difficulties, because the Word enlightens us and gives us courage.”