Relic containing saint's remains to visit 3 sites


September 22, 1995|By Frank P. L. Somerville

Beginning today and continuing through Oct. 4, Franciscan friars from Italy will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Anthony of Padua by exhibiting at 10 U.S. sites -- including three in the Baltimore area -- an ornate reliquary containing part of the saint's remains.

After being carried on a pilgrimage to Roman Catholic churches in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, the relic will be brought to St. Casimir's at 2736 O'Donnell St. in East Baltimore, where its veneration will be part of a healing service and Mass at 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

The Rev. Martin Kobos, co-director of the Companions of St. Anthony, an organization of clergy and laity with headquarters in Ellicott City, said the friars from Padua will display at the participating U.S. churches "a major relic that is considered national treasure in Italy."

Father Kobos said he believed that the relic -- transported to the United States in a gold box attached to a sculpture of the saint -- is a rib from the saint's body.

When he died near Padua in 1231 at 36, Anthony, a follower of St. Francis of Assisi, was famous for his preaching.

Born into a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, on an uncertain date in October 1195, Anthony was so revered for his missionary zeal and his brief life of poverty that the church canonized him less than a year after his death.

A mark of his eloquence and his effectiveness as a preacher, Father Kobos said, was the discovery that his tongue and larynx were intact when his remains were examined in 1981.

Public celebrations of the saint's life in the Baltimore area, including veneration of the relic, also are scheduled at:

* The Friary of St. Joseph Cupertino, 12290 Folly Quarter Road in Ellicott City, beginning with a procession and outdoor Mass at 11 a.m. Oct. 1 and concluding with evening prayer at 5 p.m.

* St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church, 1220 Chesaco Ave. in Rosedale, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 2 and concluding with a 7 p.m. Mass.

Other communities on the tour are Stafford Springs and Fairfield, Conn., Lawrence and Chicopee, Mass., Buffalo, N.Y., and Clifton and Trenton, N.J., where it ends Oct. 4.

Father Kobos said the St. Anthony events in the city and Howard and Baltimore counties will be "an appropriate prelude to the pope's arrival the following week."

Information: 988-9612.

High Holidays: During celebrations of the Jewish religious year 5756 that begins with Rosh Hashana on Sunday evening, Israeli Brig. Gen. Giora Furman will visit Baltimore area synagogues to discuss security issues in the Jewish state.

He is a member of a delegation of officers to the United States who were instructed by Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres "to emphasize that there is no alternative to the peace process and that terrorism is not a result of the process," a spokesman for the Baltimore Zionist District said.

The officers' meetings with Jewish audiences were planned for the religious period also known as the Days of Awe. They conclude Oct. 4 with Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar.

Information: 602-1200.

Pastor honored: The pastorate of the Rev. Melvin B. Tuggle II at Garden of Prayer Baptist Church and his civic and religious leadership in East Baltimore will be celebrated at a black-tie party at 7 p.m. today at Martin's Eudowood, Goucher Boulevard and Putty Hill Road.

The public is invited to tonight's party. A donation of $30 is requested. Information: 243-3204.

Singles' program: "Saved to Serve" is the title of a Higher Dimensions Christian Center seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Palladium, Liberty Heights Avenue and Druid Park Drive, sponsored by African-American Christian Singles.

Information: 484-5162.

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