YONKERS, N.Y. – A holy and first-class relic of Saint Anthony of Padua is set to visit two Roman Catholic churches in Yonkers on June 15 and June 19.
The relic’s first stop is St. Ann’s Church, 31 College Place, on Wednesday, June 15. The visitation will continue at the Church of St. Anthony, 10 Squire Ave., on Sunday, June 19.
The Rev. Andrew Carrozza, pastor of St. Ann’s, is scheduled to celebrate two masses at noon and 7:30 p.m. on June 15 with veneration of the holy relic all afternoon.
The Rev. Arthur Mastrolia, pastor of the Church of St. Anthony, will celebrate masses at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon with veneration of the relic before and after each mass.
According to a statement announcing the visits, “the Franciscan way to venerate the holy relic is to make physical contact with the reliquary with a religious item such as rosary beads, medals, crosses, a prayer car or a photograph of someone dear to you.”
The Rev. Paolo Floretta, an Order of the Friars Minor Conventual, is one of 52 Friars living in the Basilica in Padua and will accompany the relic to the United States to honor Saint Anthony’s Feast Day on June 13.
The relic’s tour begins in New Jersey on June 10. While in the region, the relic will visit churches in that state as well as Manhattan and Stamford, Conn.
According to the statement, Saint Anthony of Padua died on June 13, 1231 and was buried four days later. He is known to Catholics the world over as the saint of lost items.
The Rev. Alessandro Ratti, a travel companion of the saint’s relics, said Saint Anthony's reputation dates to an incident in his life.
“As the legend goes, a novice who had grown tired of religious life decided to leave the Franciscan community. But before leaving, the novice took Saint Anthony’s psalter,” Ratti said. “… 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.”
Saint Anthony of Padua is known for another impressive incident as well. According to the statement, he was canonized 11 months after his death; he still holds the record as the only saint to be canonized so quickly after his death.
Prayer petitions will be distributed in each church along the relic's tour to allow parishioners to write their prayer petitions to the saint, according to the statement. The petitions will then be taken to the Basilica in Padua and placed at the tomb of Saint Anthony.
For a complete schedule of the relic's tour, contact Tom Muscatello at 914-263-8841 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.