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Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

13 June

13 June is the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, and in Cervia, too, the deeply felt devotion to this saint is renewed.

(Lisbon, Portugal, c. 1195 - Padua, 13 June 1231 )

From a noble family, after an intense ascetic life with the Augustinian Canons Regular of Coimbra, he passed to the Minors of St Francis of Assisi, with whom he met at the Portiuncula (1221). A preacher of the Gospel, he exercised his ministry in northern Italy and southern France. He fought heresies and did evangelising work. Significant evidence of his preaching remains in his homiletic writings. A Thaumaturge, he was a master of spiritual doctrine and theology and saw perfection in the harmony between the contemplative and active life. He is universally venerated by the Christian people. The Saint's relics are kept in the basilica of the same name, which is the destination of continuous pilgrimages. (Mess. Rom.)

One of the churches that arose together with the founding of the city is dedicated to the saint in Cervia; originally entrusted to the Franciscan Friars Minor, it has always been a point of reference for the faithful of Cervia, sailors and salt workers.

In recent years, the various Rectors of the church, and in particular the current Don Antonio Maffei, have resumed and reproposed the traditional procession that passes in front of the Magazzini del Sale (Salt Warehouses) and runs through Borgo Marina, then takes to the sea following the boat where the statue of the saint is hoisted.

St Anthony has become the patron saint of sailors and salt workers: the former honour and celebrate him by carrying his statue on their shoulders to the lighthouse forecourt and then forming a beautiful procession of boats that set sail for the blessing of the sea and those who work on it; the salt workers, on the other hand, wait for him in front of the Magazzini where the blessing on salt is invoked.

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