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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2586

St. Anthony's feast at Padua : The Twenty Second ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya in Italy

By Rev. Fr. Anton Dinesh - Vice Chaplain- Infernetto Community
Padua, (Italy) 03 May, (Asiantribune.com):

“The Catholic Church in the midst of Her darkest hour of persecution in Sri Lanka as been called to be ever firm in the missionary mandate given by our Lord and to believe in the Lord’s promise that ‘I will be with you till the end of the ages’”, said His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony, the Bishop of Kurunegala and the chairman of the episcopal commission for migrants at the festive high mass of St. Anthony’s Basilica at Padua, Italy.

The twenty two-year old feasts were the firm initiation of Very Rev. Msgr. Neville Joe Perera, the national coordinator of the Sri Lankan migrants in Italy.

It has become a significant ‘national event’ in the migrant and working community in Italy who gather on May 01 as a nation irrespective of case and creed to celebrate their solidarity with one another and especially to receive the blessings through their most loved saint, St. Anthony of Padua.

Considering the tragic Easter bombings that took place in Sri Lanka, the feast more focused on the souls departed due to the tragedy and the families affected.

Thousands gathered for mass amidst all preoccupied fears. Especially His Lordship expressed his concerns over the need for powerful prayer of intercession foe the persecuted Christian community in Sri Lanka as well as the disturbed masses in the island. His Lordship further appreciated the brave leadership of His Eminence Malcolm cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo at this grave situation.

Very Rev. Msgr. Neville Joe Perera expressed his condolences to the grieving Sri Lankans and assured the full support of the Italians in rebuilding the Christian community in Sri Lanka both spiritually a materially.

Further, he informed the faithful that the rector and the priestly community at the sacred shrine of St. Anthony at Padua have expressed their willingness to reconstruct the Shrine of St. Anthony at Kochchikade by their generous contributions.

He insisted not to make private money collections for such renovation projects but can pool them together for a common fund once His Eminence Malcolm cardinal Ranjith requests.

Such a fund would not only focus the rebuilding of the Churches damaged, but also mainly focus on the families affects, he added.

The Feast was attended by a large community of Sri Lankan migrants settled in Italy.

Dr. Daya Palpola, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Italy also joined this occasion.

The highlight of the day’s celebration was not the ordinary procession but each pilgrim was granted the privilege of venerating the first grade relic of St. Anthony of Padua.

Looking at this event from faith point of view it was a wonderful opportunity for Catholics living in Italy to make a powerful prayer of intercession for the affected Church in Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

St. Anthony's feast at Padua : The Twenty Second ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya in Italy
St. Anthony's feast at Padua : The Twenty Second ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya in Italy
St. Anthony's feast at Padua : The Twenty Second ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya in Italy
St. Anthony's feast at Padua : The Twenty Second ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya in Italy
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