Saturday, March 10, 2007

Basilica de Sant Antonio

I am staying in Fratte, not far from Venice and even closer to Padua. Today I will stop in Padua. Although often overlooked by most tourists in favour of the far more famous Venice, I decide to make trek. Padua is famous as the city of San Antonio and also boasts one of the oldest universities in all of Europe. My first stop is the Basilica di Sant Antonio.

Saint Anthony is apparently one of the most famous of all Catholic Saints and is often called upon to help find lost possessions, but he is also the patron saint of the poor and of travelers. Thus it seems all the more appropriate in the midst of this voyage that I stop.

The Basilica built immediately after the death of this Franciscan monk in 1231 is large and imposing. It has a unique blend of both Romantic and Gothic elements. Inside the Basilica you can visit St Anthony's tomb. It has been said that when the vault in which his body had laid for thirty years was opened, his flesh was found reduced to dust, however, his tongue was seen to be uninjured, fresh, and of a lively red colour. St Bonaventure beholding this wonder, took the tongue affectionately in his hands and kissed it. Although no longer the red colour originally described, the tongue has been kept as a relic on display.

6 comments:

Barnes said...

Another great travel post, Carla. And wonderful photography.

Thank you.

JBelle said...

St. Anthony is also the Patron Saint of impossible causes. I wear his medal around my neck each and every day.

I love coming here. xo

Carla said...

Barnes, and thank you. Always a pleasure.

JBelle, apparently St Anthony is the Patron Saint of a great number of things. But impossible causes is reason enough for me to start wearing his medal ;-)).

The Fool said...

As a Fool, I've heard my share of relic stories (I may even have a finger or two of Christ to sell), but the story of St. Anthony's tongue is new to me.

He must have had something still to say. I wonder what it was?

What an image.

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Toby said...

It's a great coincidence that Rick Steves' show is traveling Italy this week during the PBS auction. My mind has been on it and you. Very nice Carla.

Carla said...

Fool, I must say that I was intrigued, but at the same time almost appalled when I heard about St. Anthony's tongue...especially the part about kissing a 30 year dead tongue. I understand and can appreciate tombs...but this relic thing has always left me a little miffed.

Toby, I hope it was a good show leaving lots of inspiration to travel.