On September 1, 2020, a Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated to commemorate the spiritual twinning between the Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua and the National Shrine of San Antonio de Padua in Pila, Laguna, the Philippines.
The Conventual Franciscans of Padua approved the spiritual twinning on August 6, 2020, through the efforts of Friar Oliviero SVANERA, OFM Conv. (Padua). The twinning was granted to the National Shrine in the Philippines in order to promote devotion to St. Anthony.
The National Shrine of St. Anthony in the Philippines was the first Antonian church in Asia. It was founded on June 13, 1581, in Pila, as the Parish Church of San Antonio de Padua. On July 9, 2002, Pope John Paul declared it a Diocesan Shrine. In 2016, the relics of St. Anthony were brought to the church through a pilgrimage organized by friars from Italy and the Philippines. In April 23, 2019, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines declared the church a National Shrine.
Friar Emil URRIQUIA, the Rector and Pastor of the Shrine, invited Friar Francis Victor MATEO, the Provincial Custos of the Philippines, and his confreres, to participate in the Mass of Thanksgiving.
The Most Reverend Buenaventura Malayo FAMADICO, Bishop of San Pablo, Philippines, presided. Friar Francis Victor read the Solemn Declaration at the beginning of the Mass and presented a framed copy of it to Bishop FAMADICO who, in turn, gave it to the Rector of the Shrine.
During the Rector’s address, he emphasized the importance of this “gemelaggio spirituali” for all those who are devotees of St. Anthony. He also expressed gratitude to the friars of the Basilica, the friars of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy), the friars of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Padua, and all those who assisted in the celebration.
After the Mass, the Bishop blessed some commemorative items for the occasion: a plaque which the friars unveiled and a gift from the Custody to the Shrine, namely, a bust of St. Anthony (replicating the reliquary that visited the Shrine in 2016). The festivities ended with a simple meal for the bishop, guests, benefactors, organizers, and devotees.
Custodial Office of Communications