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Visiting Rome to express devotion to St. Anthony

2015-04-26

A pilgrimage is always special, but there are some that are simply unforgettable. Carrying a banner with the image of St. Anthony, this group came to Rome to honor the patron saint of their local parish. 

FATHER SIMONE
San Antonio Abad Parish
"We're a group of 150 people with a great devotion towards St. Anthony, who was a great saint. We made him the Patron saint of three of our associations: transportation, labor and farmers.” 

Those three departments are now relatively modern, but it wasn't always like that. For example when it comes to transportation, workers would transport wine and coal. All three associations were born around the year 600. It's a tradition that's widely known in the Italian city of Palestrina. Respect and veneration for St. Anthony is widely felt in that city. 

FATHER SIMONE
San Antonio Abad Parish
"All of these associations came about thanks to St. Anthony. He is considered the patron saint of animals, so it makes sense that other sectors like agriculture and transportation of goods, would also develop a strong devotion towards him.” 

During his weekly general audience, this group was able to get pretty close to Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square. 

FATHER SIMONE
San Antonio Abad Parish
"We felt a lot of excitement. It was a thrill  being so close to the Pope. He is someone who always  emits a sense of closeness towards others. We were so close, that we nearly touched him. It was definitely a much different and even better experience than seeing him on television. It was a lot more personal.” 

St. Anthony is also honored in the Vatican with a very unique event. Pilgrims are invited to bring in their pets, cattle and everything in between to be blessed on the saint's feast day. 


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