The Relics of Saint Anthony of Padua visited Knock on Saturday 11 June as part of a two week visit to Ireland. Thousands gathered at Our Lady’s Shrine in Knock to venerate the much loved saint.
Speaking ahead of the evening Mass, Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, said, “Today, we are blessed and privileged to welcome the Relics of Saint Anthony here to Our Lady’s Shrine at Knock. Saint Anthony and Our Lady had much in common. Today we invoke their help as we endeavour to follow in their footsteps”.
Archbishop Neary described the saint as “a man of great yearning, eloquence, great power of persuasion along with a burning zeal for souls”, adding that he is often regarded as “a companion in daily life, a kind of big brother, and is always present and available when people find themselves beleaguered in different ways”.
He noted that Saint Anthony of Padua has always been popular: “Wherever he went, crowds flocked to hear him – hardened criminals and heretics alike were converted by him”.
As a saint known for finding lost things and people, people often pray to Saint Anthony for those who have “lost their way in life, asking him to console the suffering and assist the poor”. Archbishop Neary said that he hopes that the visit of the Relics of Saint Anthony to Ireland will help people to rediscover their faith: “Saint Anthony always had this goal in mind – namely to bring people to God.”
For more information on the visit of the Relics of Saint Anthony of Padua to Ireland, see our feature on upcoming dates and locations.