Transit of Saint Anthony is a religious ceremony and, at the same time, a historical reenactment dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, held every year in Padua, on June 12, on the eve of the Feast of Saint Anthony, recalling his last moments on earth.
On this occasion, a procession starts around 8.30 am from Piazzale Azzurri d’Italia, in Arcella, a district of Padua, and winds along the streets of the city. Around 9.30 am, the procession reaches Sanctuary dell’Arcella, a church that preserves the room in which St. Anthony of Padua died, and the concert of the bells of the entire city begins.
Born in 1195, in Lisbon, Saint Anthony was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He is known for his powerful preaching and for his devotion to the poor and the sick.
In 1231, at the age of 35, sick and aware of his approaching death, Saint Anthony asked to be taken from Camposampiero, a town about 20 kilometers north of Padua, to the city where he wanted to be buried.
He was taken to Padua in an ox-drawn cart and, once he arrived on the outskirts of the city, in a place called Arcella, his condition deteriorated and he died there peacefully, on a Friday, June 13, comforted by a vision of Jesus.
Saint Anthony of Padua was one of the most quickly canonized saints in the history of the Catholic Church. He was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on 30 May 1232, in Spoleto, less than one year after his death.
The reenactment of the Transit of St. Anthony was held for the first time in 1931, on the occasion of the 7th centenary of the Saint’s death.
In 2019, the TRANSIT OF SAINT ANTHONY will take place on June 12, when the procession of about 150 costumed people will unfold along the streets of Arcella.