St. Antony’s Shrine, Kaloor

St. Antony’s Shrine Kaloor, situated at the heart of the growing metropolitan city of Cochin, is a shelter and refuge for countless devotees who gather here on every Tuesday seeking the powerful mediation and divine help from St. Antony. It is a haven of peace and prayer for people from all cast and creed.

St. Antony, lovingly called by the devotees as the ‘Miracle Saint’ and the ‘Wonder Worker’, blesses this shrine and all who come here seeking his divine intervention, with his powerful mediation and divine assistance.
The words of Jesus “Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest “(Mt.11:28) find its great meaning and significance in the prayerful ambience of this Holy Shrine.

History

The name St. Anthony of Padua is very much popular with the devotees. St. Anthony of Padua was a saint who lived in Italy in the middle ages (1195-1231) and led the people to true faith. Though he was a Portuguese by birth, he became famous for his great miraculous deeds and powerful sermons in the Italian town of Padua and hence the name St. Anthony of Padua.

Just like the name Padua got associated with the Saint Anthony who lived there and motivated the people there to turn to God, Kaloor too became synonymous with St. Anthony and his wonder works. It is now believed to be the greatest pilgrim centre of St. Anthony in Asia.

The present shrine, which covers a wide area consisting of the church, rectory, Adoration chapel, Antonian Bible College etc. had its beginnings as a small shrine dedicated to St. Antony which belonged to the parish of St. Francis Xavier Kaloor, Kathrikkadavu. The shrine saw astounding growth during its almost a century old history.

Historical Milestones
1915 : Blessing of the Holy Shrine of St. Antony in Kaloor
1962 : Celebration of the first Holy Mass by Rev.Fr. Francis Rebeiro
1972 : Blessing of the extended and fully renovated church by Archbishop of Verapoly His Grace Dr. Joseph Kelanthara
1973 : The Holy Relic of St. Anthony was brought from Padua and starting of the Novena prayer of St. Anthony
at this shrine with the blessing of the then Archbishop of Verapoly, His Grace Dr. Joseph Kelanthara.
2009 : Bible College and Adoration Chapel were blessed on 2009 by His Grace Dr. Daniel Acharuparambil, Metropolitan Archbishop of Verapoly.
2010 : Blessing of the renovated Altar and Sanctuary of the main Church by His Grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel Acharuparambil, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Verapoly.
St. Anthony of Padua ( 1195 – 1231 )

St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most prominent amongst the saints of the Catholic Church. He is the patron saint for a lot of purposes: for finding lost things, for begetting children and against barrenness, for students and seekers of truth, for the elderly, for deepening the faith in the Blessed Sacrament, for the protection of Fishermen, for the Franciscan guardianship of the Holy Land, for good harvest, for animals, for mariners and travelers, for the oppressed, the sick and the poor etc.

St. Anthony was born as Fernando Martins de Bulhões, in Lisbon on 15th August 1195 to Vicente Martins de Bulhões and Teresa Pais Taveira. His father was the brother of Pedro Martins de Bulhões, the ancestor of the Bulhão or Bulhões family. His was a very rich family of the nobility who wanted him to become educated, and they arranged for him to be instructed at the local cathedral school. Against the wishes of his family, however, he entered the community of Canons Regular at the Abbey of St. Vincent on the outskirts of Lisbon. The Canons were famous for their dedication to scholarly pursuits, and sent the youth to their major center of studies, including the Abbey of the Holy Cross in Coimbra. There the young Fernando studied theology and Latin.

Joining the Franciscan Order
After his ordination to the priesthood, Fernando was named the guest master and placed in charge of hospitality for the abbey. It was in this capacity, in 1219, that he came into contact with five Franciscan friars who were on their way to Morocco to preach the Gospel to the Muslims there. Fernando was strongly attracted to the simple, evangelical lifestyle of the friars, whose order had been founded only eleven years prior. In February of the following year, news arrived that the five Franciscans had been martyred in Morocco, the first to be killed in their new order. Seeing their bodies as they were processed back to Assisi, Fernando meditated on the heroism of these men; inspired by their example, and longing for the same gift of martyrdom, he obtained permission from church authorities to leave the Augustinian Canons to join the new Franciscan Order. Upon his admission to the life of the friars, he joined the small hermitage in Olivais, adopting the name Anthony (from the name of the chapel located there, dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great), by which he was to be known.

The new Brother Anthony then set out for Morocco, in fulfillment of his new vocation. Illness, however, stopped him on his journey. At this point, he decided to head to Italy, the center of his new order.
On the voyage there, his ship was driven by a storm onto the coast of Sicily and he landed at Messina. From Sicily he made his way to Tuscany where he was assigned to a convent of the order, but he met with difficulty on account of his sickly appearance. He was finally assigned, out of pure compassion, to the rural hospice of San Paolo near Forlì, Romagna, a choice made after considering his poor health. There he appears to have lived as a hermit and was put to work in the kitchen, while being allowed to spend much time in private prayer and study.

Preaching and teaching
One day, on the occasion of an ordination, a great many visiting Dominican friars were present, and there was some misunderstanding over who should preach. The Franciscans naturally expected that one of the Dominicans would occupy the pulpit, for they were renowned for their preaching; the Dominicans, on the other hand, had come unprepared, thinking that a Franciscan would be the homilist. In this dilemma, the head of the hermitage, who had no one among his own humble friars suitable for the occasion, called upon Anthony, whom he suspected was most qualified, and entreated him to speak whatever the Holy Spirit should put into his mouth. Anthony objected but was overruled, and his sermon created a deep impression. Not only his rich voice and arresting manner, but the entire theme and substance of his discourse and his moving eloquence, held the attention of his hearers.

At that point, Anthony was commissioned by Brother Gratian, the local Minister Provincial, to preach the Gospel throughout the area of Lombardy, in northern Italy. In this capacity he came to the attention of the founder of the order, Francis of Assisi. Francis had held a strong distrust of the place of theological studies in the life of his brotherhood, fearing that it might lead to an abandonment of their commitment to a life of real poverty. In Anthony, however, he found a kindred spirit for his vision, someone who was also able to provide the teaching needed by young members of the order who might seek ordination. He thereby entrusted the pursuit of studies for any of his friars to the care of Brother Anthony. From then on his skills were used to the maximum by the Church. Occasionally he took another post, as a teacher, for instance, at the universities of Montpellier and Toulouse in southern France, but it was as a preacher that Anthony revealed his supreme gift.
In 1226, after attending the General Chapter of his order held at Arles, France, and preaching in the French region of Provence, Anthony returned to Italy and served as envoy from the general chapter to Pope Gregory IX. At the Papal court, his preaching was hailed as a “jewel case of the Bible” and he was commissioned to produce his collection of sermons, Sermons for Feast Days (Sermones in Festivitates).
Anthony became ill with edema and, in 1231, went to the woodland retreat at Campo Sampiero with two other friars for a respite. There Anthony lived in a cell built for him under the branches of a walnut tree. Anthony died on the way back to Padua on 13 June 1231 at the Poor Clare monastery at Arcella (now part of Padua),
aged 36.

Various miracles surround the death of Anthony. One holds that when he died, the children cried in the streets and that all the bells of the churches rang of their own accord. Another legend regards his tongue. Anthony is buried in a chapel within the large basilica built to honor him, where his tongue is displayed for veneration in a large reliquary. For, when his body was exhumed thirty years after his death, it was claimed that the tongue glistened and looked as if it was still alive and moist; apparently a further claim was made that this was a sign of his gift of preaching.

St. Anthony was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on 30 May 1232, at Spoleto, Italy, less than one year after his death. His fame spread through Portuguese evangelization, and he has been known as the most celebrated of the followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the patron saint of his adopted home of Padua, as well as of his native Lisbon, not to mention many other places in Portugal and in the countries of the former Portuguese Empire. He is especially invoked for the recovery of lost items.

Activites

1.Garlanding the statue of St. Antony
Garlanding a person is a part of the ancient Indian culture which symbolizes the honoring of a person and according him a cordial and warm welcome. It is also a token of love and thanksgiving for the divine graces and favors received from St. Antony. One of the most favored way of paying homage and thanksgiving to the Saint is by garlanding his statue

2.‘Adima’ – Offering Oneself as a Devotee
Fervent devotees come forward to offer themselves fully to the Lord through the mediation of the Saint Antony in the presence and with the blessings of a priest who prays for them by laying his anointed hands over their heads. On Tuesdays and other days after the liturgical celebrations it is possible to make this self offering here.

3.‘Choroottu’ – Ritual feeding with solid food
In our Indian culture, the first formal feeding of a new born child with solid food is a spiritual act. This Shrine sometimes becomes the venue for the first feeding of a baby with gruel or rice. The priest praying over the baby makes this function a solemn one.

4.‘Ezhuthiniruthu’ – Initiation of a child into the World of Letters
Knowledge is god given and a child must be initiated to the world of letters by an ordained ‘Guru’ (Priest). Observing this tradition children are brought here to write the first words under the prayerful supervision of a priest.

5.Vesting of St. Antony’s Habit (Dress)
As a part of an invocation or as thanksgiving for favors received it is a practice here to wear the habit of St. Antony and attend the novena prayer.

6.A Day of Prayer
Another devotional practice here is to spend an entire day at the Shrine reciting the novena prayer, attending the Holy Mass and spending the time in meditation and prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament at the Adoration chapel here.
Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII on 16 January 1946, St. Anthony is titled the “Evangelical Doctor” of the Church (Doctor Evangelicus).

About Us

The Shrine of St. Antony situated in Kaloor, Kerala is one of the biggest pilgrim centres of St. Antony in the world; perhaps second only to Padua in terms of popularity.
This Shrine belongs to the Archdiocese of Verapoly and is under the pastoral and administrative care of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Verapoly, His Grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Francis Kallarackal.
The mother church of this Shrine is St. Francis Xavier’s Parish Church, of Kathrikkadavu, Kaloor.

Novena Schedule
Every Tuesdays
06.15 AM Holy Mass, Novena
09.15 AM Novena
10.45 AM Holy Mass, Novena
03.30 PM Novena
04.30 PM Holy Mass, Novena
06.00 PM Novena
07.00 PM Holy Mass, Novena (English)

Confessions in Tuesdays
Priests will be available from 08.30 AM to 08.00 PM to hear confessions.

Novena

O’ Gracious St. Anthony, we praise you for your great virtues and remarkable humility.
With the help of Jesus nothing is impossible with you.
So we know that, sickness and death, perils and snares, evils and dangers disappear through your intercession.
You find what is lost, you comfort the afflicted and you help the worst of the sinners to repent.
There is nothing impossible for you O’ dear Saint Anthony.
O’ faithful friend of Baby Jesus please be our support, our patron and our eternal benefactor.
Procure all our needs, both material and spiritual from the Heavenly Father through your kind and powerful intercession,
And more especially, the one we beg of you now ……………………… (Specify the intention here)
O’ most loving and gentle Saint,
We will always proclaim your blessings with a grateful heart.
We command our body and soul, our whole self, and all that we have, to your care.
It is never heard that you have disowned anyone.
Protect us from all dangers.
Help us to face life and its problems with serenity and to live a virtuous life without any taint of sin.
May you be our stronghold, in our moments of temptation.
Give us a loving and generous heart.
Finally we pray to you to give us the readiness of heart
To share all the good that we receive
With our poor and needy brothers and sisters.

Holy Mass Schedule
Sundays
Morning – 07.00, 8.30 (Catechism Students Mass) 11.00 (Tamil Mass)
Afternoon – 05.00, 07.00 (English)

Tuesdays
Morning – 06.15, 10.45
Afternoon -04.30, 07.00

Other Weekdays
Morning – 06:30
Afternoon – 06.00

Confessions in Tuesdays
Priests will be available from 08.30 AM to 08.00 PM to hear confessions.

Contact
St. Antony’s Shrine
Archdiocese of Verapoly
Kaloor, Cochin – 682017 (Map)
Kerala State, India
Phone: +91484 2530591
Email: info@st-antonykaloor.org
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