St Anthony day is celebrated on June 13 in Padua. Saint Anthony is actually one of the four Saint patrons of Padua: San Daniele, Santa Giustina, San Prosdocimo and Sant’Antonio. But, by convention only on June 13 it’s bank holiday in Padua. So we celbrate only St. Anthony day. The other saints have “taken a back seat”.
On June 13 people most of the people who work in the city centre do not go to work and many citizens, tourists and pilgrims participate in the procession of the Saint relics.
During that day the Basilica is open from 5.30 am until 10.30pm. Usually the masses are at: 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12.15pm, 1pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm.
The one at 11am is celebrated by the city bishop. The current one is monsignor Cipolla. It’s a funny name, because in Italian it means Onion.
The mass of 5 o’ clock precedes the highlight of the day: The 6pm procession of the statue and the reliques of St Anthony.
During the procession, citizens are invited to display St. Anthony’s drapes (drappi antoniani). They can be collected (with a small offering) on that very day from 10am to 7pm in the Basilica parvis.
About 70 groups, confraternities and congregations take part in the procession, wearing beautiful garments and carrying flags and banners.
The itinerary is always the same: out of the Basilica, then along via del Santo, via San Francesco, Canton del Gallo, via roma, via Umberto I, Prato della Valle, via Luca Belludi and back to the Basilica.
I do not attend the ceremony often, but if I’m in town, I like to see it. It’s a moment of joyful gathering of the citizens and people arriving from every part of the world.
It’s difficult to get a first row spot if you do not arrive very early. It’s beautiful to see red drapes hanging at the windows, people cheering up, people being moved by the statue passing by.
As you will see in the video I was not in the first row. I had a hard time to record these short videos because of the crowd. Anyway, even if not that good, they can give you an idea of the atmosphere of the day.
Watch the video (and please subscribe to my YouTube channel):