A dream came true for many when the parish of St Anthony of Padua received a first-class relic of its special saint this month.
The relic is a small part of St Anthony’s body tissue, known as Ex Massa Corporis (body mass).
Conventual Franciscan Friars who are the custodians of the precious remains visited the parish on 21 June and handed the relic over to parish administrator Fr Joe Manjaly MS at a ceremony at the primary school.
Following the ceremony hundreds of faithful followed the relic in a candlelit procession to the church for Mass concelebrated by Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM CONV and other priests.
Fr Manjaly petitioned for the permanent acquisition of a relic after a rib of St Anthony was brought to the north-western parish last year and many people from across greater Sydney came to venerate it.
He said the level of devotion to the saint in the parish is always impressive, with a perpetual novena Mass in his honour attracting congregations of about 300 each week.
“I’m sure [having a permanent relic] was a great desire and is an answer to the prayers of many people here,” Fr Manjaly told The Catholic Weekly.
St Anthony was a 13th century Portuguese priest, popular preacher, and a friar of the Franciscan Order.