13th Century Relic to Visit Kellyville and Toongabbie Parishes

9 June 2017

To mark the centenary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, a relic of St Anthony of Padua will be visiting the Diocese of Parramatta in June 2017.

The parishes of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Kellyville and St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie, have been chosen as only two of five parishes in Australia to host the relic.

Diocese of Parramatta Schedule 

  • Tuesday, 20th June 2017, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 8 Diana Avenue Kellyville. Mass: 9:15am and 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, 21st June 2017, St Anthony of Padua Church, 27 Aurelia Street Toongabbie. Mass: 9:30am and 7:30pm

At Toongabbie, the celebration of the feast of St. Anthony on the 13th June 2017 will commence nine days of Novenas culminating in the arrival of the relic on morning of the 21st June 2017. The day will be marked by veneration, processions and masses with Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv who will celebrate Mass at 7pm.

Fr Jose Manjaly, the newly appointed administrator of Toongabbie parish said “Relics are remains of Saints which are venerated as signs of their continued presence in the world. They are revered both as points of contact of this world with the divine and as offering the promise of worldly intercession. It is a great opportunity for believers to strengthen their faith and get renewed in holiness.”

About the Relic

St Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis and Fatima visionary Sr. Lucia have an important friend in common – St Anthony of Padua. St Anthony is perhaps one of the best known saints in the world. The much loved 13th century friar was a contemporary of St Francis and one of the earliest members of the Franciscan Order founded by St Francis in 1209.

This relic of St Anthony’s “floating” rib was venerated by St Anthony’s fellow Portugese countrywoman, Sr Lucia of Fatima, when it was taken to her convent, the Monastery of Carmelite nuns in Coimbra, in January 1995.

When Pope Francis was Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, he led a procession through the streets of the Argentinean capital in the year 2000, carrying the precious relic in his hands. The Pope’s devotion to St Anthony is due to the saints’ love, care and concern for the poor and marginalised.

St Anthony is known to help people find lost items; he intercedes with those trying to find a job, a home, faith, love and hope.

Fr Mario Conte, a Franciscan Friar from Padua, Italy where St Anthony is buried, is accompanying the relic to Australia. Speaking ahead of the visit, Fr Conte said “There is nothing superstitious about relics. The real meaning of a relic is love – they are a link of love between the person who venerates and the saint.”

About St Anthony of Padua

Born 15th August 1195, Lisbon, Portugal.
Died 13th June 1231 Padua, Italy.

Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic friar belonging to the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised in a wealthy family in Lisbon. Noted by his contemporaries for his preaching and expert knowledge of scripture, he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1946. He was declared a saint in 1232, 352 days after his death.

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