St. Anthony, the Paduans and B16

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This week our friary hosted some guests from Il Messagero di S. Antonio, Padova, Italy.  Friars Danilo Salezze, the Director General of the Messegero, Friar Mario Conte, the Director of Marketing and Mr. Massimo Maggio.  Our friends were among us to coordinate the efforts to promote The Messenger in Canada.

 Il Messagero, or The Messenger, is the publishing ministry of our Conventual Franciscan Friars in Padua, Italy. There we publish editions of the “Messenger” in 6 different languages, with different editoral content. The Messagero also publishes books, including those of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

 It’s always a great joy to have our guests from Padua among us. They bring such excitement and dynamism with them. They work very hard because they believe they are blessed with an amazing legacy; that of St. Anthony.

Many people see St. Anthony of Padua (or Lisboa) as the saint who finds lost articles. He is so much more. He was actually much more involved as a defender of the poor and the marginalized. He was outspoken in his fight against social injustice and worked for healing and reconciliation in the Paduan society of his time.  The friars characterize his legacy as being that of “Gospel & Charity”; both must go hand-in-hand.

In fact the friars in Padua, through the donations received at the Messenger of St. Anthony, fund many amazing projects around the world. They build schools, fund clinics, care for people with HIV/AIDS. They do this in far away places and through the local Canadian office they support local charities such as the St. Clare Inn (Shelter & Care for Homeless women), St. Francis Table, St. Paul’s Breakfast Club and many more.

After a crazy week of meetings and discussions… mostly in Italian… (which I don’t speak very well) our friars are finally on the way back to Italy where a very special occasion awaits them. Friar Danile and Mr. Maggio are going to Rome to visit with Pope Benedict XVI and present him with a special edition of a book they have published.  Joseph & Chico is the story of the pope’s life from the perspective of his cat named Chico. 

Find out more about The Messenger and all the good work they do by visiting http://www.saintanthonyofpadua.net/portale/home.asp

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