“Remaining open to the unpredictable will of God.” The legacy of St. Anthony of Padua, patron of the Custody since 1928. Monday, June 13th: the festival in the St. Savior Monastery, in Jerusalem.
“His memory will never vanish. His name will be blessed forever. ”
The verse that embodies the people’s devotion to St. Anthony of Padua is the responsory of the second vespers. Monday, June 13, in the St. Savior Monastery in Jerusalem, the friars celebrated the Feast Day of the Franciscan saint, patron of the Custody of the Holy Land, together with the local and the international Christian community.
The link between the Custody and the saint, who was born in Portugal and died in Padua, Italy, is ancient and unbroken; however, the official appointment of the special patron and protector of the Custody dates back to 1929.
Ten years earlier, during the Anglo-turkish war, the friars, along with all the European citizens, had been expelled from Palestine. The prayer to St. Anthony obtained for the Franciscans the blessing to stay in the Holy Land.
During the homily, the new Custos, Brother Francesco Patton, told the saint’s story from his early years as an Augustinian: he talked about the sight of the five Franciscan protomartyrs, who convinced St. Anthony to enter the Order of Friars Minor and also recounted about St. Anthony’s meeting with St. Francis. Four images were evoked: the book of the Word of God, the baby Jesus, the lily and the bread.