Prayers to powerful preacher: St. Anthony’s relics visit parishes in diocese


Pictured are scenes from a visit of two precious and first-class relics of St. Anthony of Padua from the Pontifical Basilica in Padua in St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson on June 11.

The relics, fragments of St. Anthony’s facial skin and his floating rib, first visited the Paterson Diocese at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Butler on June 8. It was the first stop on their journey to nine parishes in New Jersey and the surrounding area.

Father Mario Conte and Father Alessandro Ratti, Conventual Franciscan Friars from Padua, Italy, where the saint is buried, accompanied the relics. Franciscans of Holy Name Province administer St. Bonaventure’s and St. Anthony’s. St. Anthony was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher.

Each visit included a Mass with the two Italian priests and Franciscan priests of the two parishes in the Paterson Diocese, time for the veneration of the relics, and prayers to St. Anthony. The St. Bonaventure’s visit included Father Daniel Grigassy, pastor, and Father Robert Norton, senior associate Friar. The St. Anthony’s stop included Father Matthew Pravetz, pastor, and Father James Bernard, parochial vicar.

The Italian priests also shared the relics’ history, their experiences in their ministry of sharing the relics, and their devotion to, and the movement of, St. Anthony in their lives.

Many people who venerated St. Anthony’s relics ask for his intercession for more than the loss of material things, as well as a loss of faith, family harmony, health, hope, peace of mind, and trust in others.

During the visits, prayer petitions and holy cards were distributed to allow the faithful to write their prayer request to the saint. The Friars collected and planned to bring the petitions back to the Basilica in Padua and place them at the tomb of St. Anthony. The tour was scheduled to end back at the tomb of St. Anthony where the Friars were to gather to pray for the saint’s intercession upon intentions and petitions.



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