St. Theresa to host remains of 13th Century Catholic saint

A first-class relic of Saint Anthony of Padua is on its way to Trumbull. In the Catholic Church, first-class relics are physical remains of saints. The relic will be at St. Theresa Church June 9. Masses will be at noon and 5:30 p.m. and veneration of the relic will be all afternoon between the masses.

Friar Alessandro Ratti will travel from the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, in Italy to the Tri-State area in honor of St. Anthony’s feast day on June 13. The relic consists of layers of skin Anthony’s cheek.

Anthony died on June 13, 1231, and was buried in a little church outside the walls of the town of Padua. In 1263, his remains were transferred to the newly constructed basilica.

Saint Anthony of Padua is known to millions of Catholics as the patron saint of lost items.

“As the legend goes, a novice who had grown tired of religious life decided to leave the Franciscan community,” said the Rev. Mario Conte, editor of the Messenger of St. Anthony. “But before leaving, the novice took Saint Anthony’s psalter. The book was very important to Anthony, especially since it was before the printing press had been invented. The psalter had notes and comments he made in teaching his students in the Franciscan order. Anthony prayed that the psalter would be found and returned to him. Anthony’s prayers were answered: The novice returned the psalter and returned to the order.”

Ratti will participate in the two masses and venerations. Veneration is making physical contact with the reliquary with either one's hand, religious objects, rosary beads and/or prayer cards. According to Catholic teaching, any religious object touched against the first-class reliquary will become a third-class relic of the saint.

Prayer petitions with a holy card will be distributed to allow parishioners to write their prayer petition to the saint. Ratti will bring the petitions back to Padua and place them at the tomb of Saint Anthony.