PADUA I’m here for Sant’Antonio, who always said “what matters is the facts, not the words”. We are going to fly over the areas most affected by the pandemic and thank everyone, health workers, doctors, nurses, law enforcement, all those who have brought us out of the pandemic. We thank the Venetian people who always know how to get up from the most serious emergencies, a great people who, as I always say, on their knees only when they pray. The president of the Senate, Elisabetta Casellati, said this at the Allegri airport of Padua, before boarding the army helicopter that flew over the city and the province with a statue of the Saint on board. In the flight, touch the symbolic places of the pandemic: the former red zone of Vo ‘, the Covid hospital of Schiavonia, the nursing home of Merlara.
Padua, the helicopter for Sant? Antonio
Father Svanera and Bishop Cipolla
It is not enough to offer young people objects or experiences to enjoy life. In fact, the coronavirus – warns Father Svanera – has exposed even more the need for other reasons. And therefore it is not enough to guarantee well-being for the new generations, but instead it is necessary for us adults to be well rooted in our vocation, that is, by believing us first in truth and justice to then be credible and reliable witnesses. Only in this way can we generate passion for the beauty of life and help our young people to face the anguish caused by nihilism. Words that Bishop Cipolla reinforces as follows: On the day of the feast of his patron, I pray that Saint Anthony will help us to live this time of fragility and not to lose hope. And I pray for the months to come, where other frailties will emerge, such as the wounds caused by the emptiness of those who have left us, the fatigue, fears and suffering of people who have already lost or will lose their jobs and the disorientation and discomfort of young people deprived of relationships and social relations for a long time and of the families tried by their long stay at home. The entry into the Basilica, with a mandatory mask, was allowed to no more than 200 faithful at a time. While the others, especially during the solemn celebration of 5pm (at the end of which the mayor Sergio Giordani will speak with a brief speech), will be able to sit in front of the three giant screens installed on the churchyard and in the cloister of the Novitiate, where another 490 seats will be available.
The long queue outside the basilica
No pilgrims from abroad, but many faithful from all over the Veneto and other regions today in Padua for the feast of Saint Anthony, conditioned by anti-Covid health regulations. During the eight masses, as announced, access to the Basilica del Santo limited to 200 people at a time, in addition there are 150 places with two giant screens in the cloister of the Novitiate and 250 chairs with a giant screen in the churchyard. The limitations did not discourage the faithful, who formed a long queue to the gate where they are sorted in various directions. In the final stretch, however, the queue has become a real gathering, with many people at close range so as not to lose priority. Dozens of people also queued on the opposite side of the Basilica to visit the saint’s tomb. Souvenir kiosks also returned around the Basilica, but according to the street vendors, the absence of foreign tourists caused sales to drop by 90%.
All the events of the Festa del Santo, starting right from the unprecedented helicopter flight, are streamed on www.santantonio.org and www.reteveneta.it.
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