Mangaluru: Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha the Bishop of Mangalore offered the Holy Mass at the feast and preached a homily on the life of Saint Anthony. St Anthony was raised to the state of Sainthood in the shortest time of 11 months after his death. Pope Gregory who canonized him said, “he is the arch of the New and Old Testament of the Bible”, meaning to say that he had read and digested the Bible. He was filled with zeal to preach the Word of God. He lived and died for that cause. That’s why God has honoured him by preserving his tongue from decay during the past eight centuries. Today is the feast of Siant Anthony. And this evening the Holy Masses stopped due to ‘COVID 19’ will restart with the commemoration of precious body and blood of Christ. This may look co-incidence. But in God’s plan St Anthony on his feast leads the devotees to Jesus, the Bishop said in his homily.
During the 13 days of the novena in preparation for the feast special prayers were offered for overcoming COVID 19, for those who are rendering service to the sick, for those who are affected directly and indirectly by the pandemic, for those who are stranded in different places and especially those who are working abroad. Prayers were also offered for various groups of people on each of the days of novena- for the farmers, the unemployed, labourers, children, parents, those working abroad, the sick.
The devotees were given an opportunity from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to come and pray near St Anthony’s grotto and to light the votive candles while following the instruction given by the government.
Fr Onil D’Souza the director of the Institutes thanked all those who contributed and co-operated to have a meaningful celebration in the midst of the pandemic. Fr Thrishan D’Souza and Fr Roshan D’Souza the Asst directors were present on the occasion.