Holy relics of St. Anthony of Padua to tour Archdiocese

January 24, 2016

HOUSTON — After successful visits to America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, two first-class relics of St. Anthony of Padua will return to the United States for a 10-day tour of the Archdiocese from Feb. 19 to Feb. 28.

Father Mario Conte, OFM Conv, editor of the Messenger of St. Anthony monthly publication, will travel from the Pontifical Basilica in Padua Italy with two relics of the beloved saint. One relic is the floating rib of St. Anthony and the other reliquary contains layers of the saint’s skin. 

Pope Francis, when he was Bishop Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, and Sister Lucia of Fatima, when the Friars visited her in Portugal in the 1990s, both held the reliquary which contains the saint’s floating rib.

St. Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon and died in 1231 in Padua, Italy. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of scripture, he was the second-most-quickly canonized saint after Peter of Verona.

St. Anthony 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. Present at this ceremony was St. Bonaventure in his role as Minister General of the Friars Minor. When St. Anthony’s coffin was opened in St. Bonaventure’s presence, bones and ashes were found. However, the saint’s vocal apparatus was found to be intact, and in particular, his tongue was still red and soft. At the sight of the miracle, St. Bonaventure exclaimed in awe: “Oh blessed tongue, that ever praised the Lord and led others to praise Him! Now it is clear how great are your merits before God!” 

The word ‘relic’ comes from the Latin “reliquiae,” literally meaning “remains.” In the strict sense, they are in fact remains of canonized or beatified saints. 

In his address to the young on the occasion of the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI said, “Relics direct us towards God himself: it is He who, by the power of His grace, grants to weak human beings the courage to bear witness to Him before the world. By inviting us to venerate the mortal remains of the martyrs and saints, the Church does not forget that, in the end, these are indeed just human bones, but they are bones that belonged to individuals touched by the living power of God.


February 19 
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
12:10 p.m. Mass, veneration all afternoon, with Mass at 7:30 p.m.
1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston

February 20
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Mass at 6:30 a.m., veneration until 2 p.m. Veneration starts again at 4 p.m. with 5 p.m. Mass with veneration and Vietnamese Mass with veneration at 7 p.m.
1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston

February 21
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Masses followed by veneration at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. in Vietnamese, 5:30 p.m. and Spanish Mass at 7:30 p.m. Veneration all afternoon. 
1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston

February 22
Christ the incarnate word catholic church
Masses at 7 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with veneration all day.
8503 S Kirkwood Road, Houston

February 23
The Shrine of the True Cross
5 p.m. veneration with Mass at 7 p.m. followed by veneration
300 FM 517 Road East, Dickinson

February 25
Catholic Charismatic Center
Veneration begins at noon until 9 p.m. with Mass at 7:30 p.m.
1949 Cullen Blvd., Houston

February 26
Annunciation Catholic Church
Masses at 6:30 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 7 p.m. with veneration all day
1618 Texas Ave., Houston

February 27
Our Lady of the Cedars Maronite Catholic Church
Veneration begins at 9 .m. until 10 p.m. with Mass at 6:30 p.m.
11935 Bellfort Village Dr., Houston

February 28
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
Masses with veneration at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
7801 Bay Branch Drive, The Woodlands; 281-419-8700