Relics of St Anthony arrive in Dublin
All-island visit to include Wexford, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmiud Martin with the reliquary of St Anthony in Fairview, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: John McElroy
An overflow congregation greeted the relics of St Anthony of Padua when they arrived at the Franciscan Church of the Visitation in Fairview in Dublin last night. They will be taken to Wexford, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast before arriving in Glasgow on October 25th.
At the church’s forecourt in Fairview last night, the reliquary containing the relics was handed over to the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin by Fr Mario Conte, who accompanied them from Italy. Papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Browne was also present.
At a Mass marking reception of the relics, Dr Martin said “the small piece of his skin reminds us of Anthony the human person. Sanctity is not something which is extraneous to our bodily lives. Holiness . . . is worked out in toil of mind and body by each of us, under the guidance of the spirit, in our bodies, in the real-life situations in which we find ourselves”.
Recalling the election of Pope Francis last March, he said “the real surprise came with the announcement of the name that the pope had chosen: Francis. That was not just about a name; it was about a programme.”
He said Pope Francis “constantly reminds us that the church will not witness fully to Jesus through structures or even through the reform of structures. He says that what is needed are not new structures but new attitudes”.
He concluded, “this evening we turn to the intercession of St Anthony above to guide us and to guide our church whenever it seems to be losing its true way. We join in the prayer of Pope Francis for renewal in the church.”
The relics will be at the St Francis Friary in Wexford town today and Dublin’s Church of Adam and Eve, Merchant’s Quay tomorrow.
On Sunday they will be at Cork’s Holy Trinity Church, at St John’s Cathedral, Limerick on Monday, at Galway Cathedral on Tuesday, at St Mary’s, Church Street, Dublin, on Wednesday, and St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Thursday next.
It concludes the visit to Britain at London’s St Peter’s Italian Church on November 3rd.