Relics of St. Anthony in Bangladesh

Date Published: 4 May, 2017

Relics of St. Anthony in Bangladesh Fr. Alessandro Ratti, OFCM and Fr. Paolo Floretta, OFCM from Padua, Italy brought the nearly 800-year-old relic of St. Anthony of Padua to Bangladesh for a nationwide tour, sparking enthusiasm among thousands of Christians and non-Christians as well. The Fathers arrived on February 1, 2017 at the CBCB Centre and on the first day, displayed the relics at Holy Rosary Church during a Mass in Dhaka. An estimated 20,000 - 25,000 people attended the viewing, according to the Priests who concelebrated on that day. St. Anthony is the most popular saint in Bangladesh. The relics were taken to Boxonagar Sub-Parish under St. Francis Xavier Church, Golla on February 2 and thousands of devotees also gathered there to venerate their beloved St. Anthony and to plead for favors from God through the intercession of St. Anthony. The annual pilgrimage and feast of St. Anthony was celebrated on February 3, 2017 at Panjora under St. Nicholas Parish, Nagori and it was estimated that in two days, that is, Feb. 2 and 3, there were more than 60,000 people gathered from all over the country and devotees were happy to see and venerate the relics of St. Anthony. The shrine of St. Anthony at Panjora attracts thousands of devotees to the annual pilgrimage and feast day, usually celebrated in February because of the weather, although the original feast of the saint is in June. The relics of St. Anthony of Padua were also taken to the dioceses of Chittagong, Mymensingh, Barisal and Rajshahi. Many people attended the Eucharist, venerated the relics and expressed their devotion to St. Anthony. It is estimated that in all the places, a total number of more than 140,000 people gathered to pray, ask special favors from St. Anthony and touched the relic of this great Saint. This pilgrimage of the relics of St. Anthony brought spiritual awakening and renewal in the life of the Catholics in Bangladesh. It was also noticed that in different places, a good number of people of other faiths, especially those who received favors from St. Anthony, also came to see and touch the relics of the Saint.