Church of Saint Saviour
June 13, 2021
Mass at 10:30 am
ST. ANTHONY – PATRON OF THE CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND
How did a Portuguese Franciscan priest become the patron of the Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land? One would assume it would be St. Francis, who sent his friars throughout the world and who himself came to the Holy Land.
The Franciscans of the Holy Land have always had a great devotion to St. Anthony – his humility and simplicity, his profound preaching and care for the poor. A contemporary of St. Francis, in many ways his life parallels that of his founder – both wished to gives their lives as martyrs for the faith. Both were profound preachers. While Francis preached to the birds, Anthony preached to the fish when he felt his message was not being heard by the heretics. While St. Francis died just outside his beloved Assisi, St. Anthony died just outside his own beloved Padua, each bestowing their blessing on the cities.
During the time leading up to the consecration of the Custody to St. Anthony, it faced great threat against falling into the hands of the Turks during the Anglo-Turkish War. In 1917, the friars asked St. Anthony to intercede on their behalf. The help of this powerful Saint was previously invoked in 1915 when Jerusalem was invaded by locusts. In gratitude for his protection, he was proclaimed its Patron in 1920 by Pope Benedict XI and and consecrated to St. Anthony by the Custos of the Holy Land, Ferdinando Diotellevi. The years that followed saw a great flourishing within the works of the Custody.
Each year, on 13 June, the Custody celebrates a solemn liturgy in the same church where this patronage was proclaimed and renews the vow entrusting itself to his care.
Devotion to the Saint is strong within the parishes entrusted to the care of the friars as well, in particular the Parish Church of St. Saviour. On this feast, families may choose to dedicate their male child to St. Anthony. The young boy wears a small Franciscan habit throughout the year.
Each Tuesday, after the parish Mass, the novena prayer to St. Anthony is recited and the relics are venerated.
At the start of the Covid pandemic over one year ago, the Custos, Fr. Francesco Patton, asked the friars to recite, both privately and in Community, the prayer prayed each 13 June, adapted to the current pandemic. To see the prayer you can follow this link.
Photo Copyright: © Marie-Armelle Beaulieu/CTS
Franciscan friars of St. John the Baptist Province. (2020, June 13). Saint Anthony of Padua | Franciscan Media. Franciscan Media. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-anthony-of-padua
Guarrera, B. (2020a, May 25). The Franciscans who sacrificed their lives in the time of the plague. Custodia Terrae Sanctae. https://www.custodia.org/en/news/franciscans-who-sacrificed-their-lives-time-plague
Guarrera, B. (2020b, June 13). St. Anthony, the patron saint of the Custody, celebrated in Jerusalem. Custodia Terrae Sanctae. https://www.custodia.org/en/news/st-anthony-patron-saint-custody-celebrated-jerusalem
Patton, OFM, F. (2020, March 9). Letters to the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land. Custodia Terrae Sanctae. https://www.custodia.org/en/news/letters-franciscan-friars-custody-holy-land