St. Anthony Procession
St Anthony de Padua Procession
St. Anthony Procession – Sao Antonio
The St. Anthony Procession is a very short procession held every year on the feastday of the Saint along the streets and park adjacent to the St. Anthony Church.
The feast day of St Anthony, Doctor of the Church, falls on June 13 according to the Catholic Year. The feast day/procession in the parish church is generally held on the Sunday of the week.
A series of activities are held before the procession. There are novenas, prayers, a solemn Mass, confessions, etc. It is a major event in the Macau Church so the Bishop generally comes to celebrate the Holy Mass.
Then it goes around the small square, passing by the main gate of the park and the entrances to the Casa Garden and the Protestant Church/Cemetery. Then the procession goes back, crosses the busy street again, and finally re-enters the church grounds.
The image is brought back inside the church and placed in the side chapel of Christ the King.
St Anthony of Padua or St Anthony of Lisbon, O.F.M., (born Fernando Martins de Bulhões; 15 August 1195 – 13 June 1231) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order.
Though he died in Padua, he was born and raised in a wealthy family in Lisbon.
Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of scripture, he was declared a saint almost immediately after
his death and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.
The Bishop of Macau is flanked by several priests, members of the brotherhood, and many local parishioners who joined the celebrations.
A confraternity or brotherhood is in charge of carrying the image around the small park. They wear Franciscan color brown because St Anthony was a friar of the Franciscan Order who built the San Francisco
barracks in Macau.
Beginning from the St Anthony Church sanctuary, the image is brought out preceded by flower girls, young boys, and girls, the brotherhood, etc.
The parade or procession is the coveted occasion for the mothers to show their beautiful girls all dress up in white.
The girls throw flowers all along the route.
St Anthony is venerated all over the world as the Patron Saint for lost articles, and is credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods.
Saint Anthony is known in Portugal, Spain, and Brazil as a marriage saint because there are legends of him reconciling couples.
His feast day, 13 June, is Lisbon’s municipal holiday, celebrated with
parades and marriages.
(The previous day, 12 June, is the Brazilian Valentine’s Day.) He is one of
the saints celebrated in the Brazilian Festa Junina (also known as the “São João”), along with John the Baptist and Saint Peter.
As the number of Franciscan saints increased the iconography struggled to distinguish Anthony from the others. Because of a legend that he had once preached to the fish, these were sometimes used as his attribute. He is also often seen with a lily stalk (see image).
Other conventions referred to St. Anthony’s visionary fervor. Thus, one attribute in use for some time was a flaming heart.
Another key pattern has him meditating on an open book in which the Christ Child himself appears, as in the El Greco below. Over time the child came to be shown considerably larger than the book, and some images even do without the book entirely.
The Saint is popular in the city and his images can be seen in several Macau churches and sites.