The Feast of Saint Anthony
The Feast of Saint Anthony: Gemona del Friuli celebrates its patron saint
Festa di Sant'Antonio
On June 13, the Feast of Saint Anthony, Gemona del Friuli honours its patron saint. The Sanctuary of Saint Anthony in Gemona becomes the centre of all the liturgical celebrations, with the Blessing of the Bread, a votive Procession through the streets of the town centre, the Festival of the Lilies, and the Blessing of the Children.
What signs of his passage did Saint Anthony leave behind in Gemona?
The origins of the Sanctuary are strictly tied with the life of the saint, who had a chapel built on the same site, the ruins of which are still visible, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saint Anthony spent several months in Gemona, and this is where the world's first church dedicated to the saint was built in 1248.
Before the 1976 earthquake, there was an inscription on a stone in the presbytery of the Sanctuary stating that the original church was commissioned by the saint himself: “Let everyone know that Saint Anthony of Padua had this chapel built in honour of our glorious Lady of Grace, and those who visit it in devotion shall enjoy her grace. Amen”.
Further confirmation comes from the fourteenth-century fresco that came to light on the damaged walls of the chapel, containing the original text of the same inscription.
The celebrations in honour of Saint Anthony include the traditional fair and market, a charity raffle and fireworks.
The event is organised by: Municipality of Gemona del Friuli, Pro Loco Pro Glemona, Monastery of the Brothers of Saint Anthony.