Guide to a spiritual experience
in the Basilica.
How to make the most of a visit to the Basilica?
How to best experience a spiritual pilgrimage to the
The pilgrimage has some characteristic elements:
- request for help (especially in difficult
- thanks for having obtained it;
- making peace with God and the friars through
the sacrament of penance/reconciliation
- meeting Christ in the Eucharist.
The following is a guide to the
spiritual experience of a pilgrimage to the Basilica
of St. Anthony. These are notes to facilitate a
triple meeting: with St. Anthony, with the mercy
of God and with Jesus Christ the Redeemer.
This can be used to prepare yourself for a visit
to the Basilica or to guide a celebration in
It is divided into three parts.
You can read it following the links of the index
or by printing it out.
- Meeting St. Anthony:
a confidential listener.
- Meeting the
mercy of God: celebrating reconciliation
- Meeting Christ
the Redeemer: celebrating the Eucharist
|In the appendix there are some
to St. Anthony and Christian
St. Anthony guides the pilgrim. He writes in his sermons:
St. Anthony: a confidential listener
to Timothy, St. Paul shows the order of making a request
to God saying:
"I suggest you use supplication, prayers, requests,
- Among these spiritual exercises, prayer is
an affectionate way on man's part of complying with
God, it is an intimate and adoring meeting,
the enlightened soul lingers in enjoying God as
far as it is conceded.
- Supplication is a passionate request to God
since, without the grace of God, our mental efforts
only add to our suffering.
- The request is the soliciting and obtaining
of worldly things necessary in our lives; and
thanks consists of understanding and penetrating
the grace of God, untiringly focusing our attention
There are three ways of establishing a relationship
with God. St. Anthony helps and guides the pilgrim,
listening to his heart. He welcomes life, joy, pain,
hope. He helps us express to ourselves and to God
how much we hold in our hearts, though we sometimes
are worried. He pays attention to our requests,
celebrates in the graces God has given us, helps us
to implore the mercy of God, he urges us to adhere to
God and His son Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.
The hand on the tomb is a silent gesture characteristic
of the pilgrim. It expresses trust, affection, confiding
in secrecy, and the need for physical contact which
every pilgrim carries within.
Many pilgrims write their own prayer of petition
to St. Anthony, and they place it on his tomb. They
use postcards which can be found at the entrance
to the Basilica or at the end of the exhibition on St.
Anthony in the General Cloister. Before arriving at
the Basilica, you can send a prayer to St. Anthony
or ask for a postcard by internet, from
Return to index
with the mercy of God: celebrating Penance
St. Anthony guides us to the Sacrament of Penance. He
is the apostle of individual confession. He used to
spend entire days listening to the confessions of penitents.
His Basilica has always been a place where you can encounter
the mercy of God.
St. Anthony, in his Sermons, wrote a beautiful eulogy
"The sacrament of penance has been called the
house of God, because sinners reconcile with Him there,
just as the prodigal son reconciled with his father
who welcomed him once again to his house. It is
also called the gate of Heaven, seeing that through
confession the sinner is led to kiss the feet, hands,
face of the Divine Lord. Oh house of God! Oh confession,
gate of Paradise! Blessed is he who dwells in thee,
who enters through thee! Humble yourselves, my brothers
and enter through this holy door."
Confessions are heard in the confessionals
along the ambulatory of the Basilica, behind the presbytery,
or in the confessional room, on the west side of the
Here is a preparation for the
sacrament of penance.
To receive the sacrament of penance
it is firstly necessary to recognise our sins before
God and decide to live our lives following the teachings
of the Gospel. This commitment consumes all our energy
and, apart from past feelings of guilt, allows us to
look to the future with great faith. God, through penance,
opens up a road which leads us to freedom. Christ Himself
through His words, by His example and the force of His
spirit, calls us to a new way of life.
From the Gospel according to Matthew
But when the Pharisees heard that he
had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to
test him, one of them put a question to him, "Master,
which is the greatest commandment of the Law?"
Jesus said, "You must love the Lord your God with
all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your
mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour
as yourself. On these two commandments stand the whole
Law and the Prophets also."
Outline for an examination of conscience
1. "Love God with all your
heart" (examine yourself on: the sincerity
and maturity of your faith, your commitment to Christian
instruction and adherence to Church doctrine, respect
for the name of God and the Virgin Mary, daily prayer
and participation in weekend Mass, superstitious practises...
2. "Love each other as I have
loved you" (in particular look at: reciprocal
love in familial relationships, behaving justly to individuals
and the state, charity to those in need, practising
sincerity and loyalty, respect for life from its first
inception, forgiving insults and offences... ).
3. You are a temple of the Holy
Spirit (thus: your interest in your spiritual life,
control gluttony and the senses, chastity of body and
heart, the correct use of means of social communication...
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having
offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of
Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend
Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all
my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace
to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
Absolution given by a priest
God, the Father of mercies, through
the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled
the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among
us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry
of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and
I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Almighty and eternal God, you who correct
with justice and pardon with infinite mercy, receive
our humble thanks. You, who in your providence arranged
everything according to your plan of love, let the grace
of your pardon bring the fruit of conversion to our
hearts that we may always live in your love. Through
Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Return to index
Meeting Jesus Christ the Redeemer: celebrating the Eucharist
The pilgrimage culminates here. Meeting
with the living Jesus Christ the Redeemer, in the
Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Here St. Anthony expresses his
role as intermediary and intercessor. He brings
us to Christ and invites us to adhere to Him with all
our heart and all our love, as he did.
St. Anthony wrote in his Sermons that
the Eucharist was a miraculous theological synthesis:
We must firmly believe and openly confess
that the same body which was born of the Virgin Mary,
hung from the cross, placed in the tomb, resurrected
on the third day, and which rose to join God's right
hand, was given by Christ to the apostles as food, and
this is what the Church consecrates every day and gives
to the faithful.
On the altar, in the form of bread
and wine, Jesus Himself is present, changed from human
flesh into an offering to the Lord which to this day
is offered daily.
Holy Mass in honour of St. Anthony
Announce the glory of God to the people,
great is the glory of God, worthy is He of praise: (at
Easter add: alleluia).
Almighty and eternal God, who in St.
Anthony has given Your people an outstanding preacher
and patron of the poor and suffering, through his intercession
may we follow the teachings of the Gospel and in doing
so benefit from your mercy. For our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your son, who is God and lives and reigns with You,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.
The first reading is taken from the
first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (9,16-19.22-23)
Brothers, I do not boast of preaching
the Gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on
me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If
I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid
for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which
has been put in my hands. Do you know what my reward
is? It is this: in my preaching, to be able to offer
the Good News free, and not insist on my rights which
the Gospel gives me.
So though I am not a slave of any man
I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win
as many as I could. For the weak I made myself weak.
I made myself all things to all men in order to share
some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake
of the Gospel, to have a share in its blessings.
This is the word of the Lord.
From psalm 95
Response: Proclaim the salvation
of the Lord to all peoples.
Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to
the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his
Announce his salvation day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples,
his wondrous deeds. R.
Give to the Lord, you families of nations,
give to the Lord glory and praise; give to the Lord
the glory due his name! R.
Say among the nations: The Lord is
king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he
governs the peoples with equity. R.
Alleluia, alleluia. The kingdom of
God is among us, says the Lord; spread peace to mankind.
From the Gospel of St. Luke 10,1-9
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two
other disciples and sent them out ahead of Him, in pairs,
to all the towns and places He Himself was to visit.
He said to them, "The harvest is rich but the labourers
are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send the
labourers to His harvest. Start off now, but remember,
I am sending you out like lambs among the wolves. Carry
no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no-one on
the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first
words be, 'Peace to this house!' And if a man of peace
lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if
not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house,
taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the
labourer deserves his wages. Do not move from house
to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make
you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those
in it who are sick and say, 'The kingdom of God is very
near to you'."
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Prayer of the faithful
My bothers and sisters, in remembering
St. Anthony of Padua, with complete trust in his intercession,
let us direct our prayer to God, the Father of Mercy.
Let us say: Hear us, O Lord.
1. For our Holy Mother, the Church,
that all of the members of the People of God be firm
in faith, let us pray.
2. For the suffering, the needy and
the sick, that they be freed from troubles and have
relief and comfort, let us pray.
3. For all those of us who rejoice
in the protection of St. Anthony, that we may imitate
his virtues and holiness, let us pray.
4. For all of us who participate
in this Eucharist, may the example of St. Anthony lead
us to follow a truly Christian life, let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, give us the gift
of your love and the love for our neighbour: let this
be the light of our life; may it be a means of purification
of all our sins and may it lift us to the glory of eternal
light. You are blessed and glorious forever. Amen.
It is truly right to give you thanks
Almighty and Eternal God, through Christ our Lord.
The source of all life and holiness,
you have enriched your servant Anthony in the science
of the Saints,
and, filling him with your spirit,
you have led him on the path of truth and justice so
that he may bear witness to the saving power of your
word and the gentleness of your paternal love.
With the same zeal,
with which he preached your word here on earth and now
magnifies your glory in heaven,
we too with all the angels and Saints proclaim your
Prayer over the offerings
Sanctify, Lord, with your blessing
the gifts that we offer you in memory of Saint Anthony,
and transform them for us into a sacrament of salvation,
that we who come to your altar may be freed of every
sin, and may participate at the banquet of eternal life.
Through Christ our Lord.
The Lord sent His disciples to announce
to the cities: the kingdom of God is at hand (at Easter
Prayer after Communion
O God, our Father, confirm us in our
faith through the mysterious strength of this sacrament,
that we may always be witnesses to the truth of the
Gospels, a truth for which Saint Anthony worked tirelessly
until his death. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayers to St. Anthony
Brief - "Tredicina"
1. O glorious St. Anthony, you who
have received from God the power to raise the dead,
awaken my soul from its apathy and obtain for me a fervent
and holy life. Glory be to the Father, etc.
2. O wise St. Anthony, you who were
light for the Holy Church as well as for the entire
world through your teaching, enlighten my soul and open
it for divine truth. Glory be to the Father, etc.
3. O pious Saint, always ready to help
those devoted to you, help me and my family in our present
needs. Glory be to the Father, etc.
4. O generous Saint, you who by accepting
divine inspiration have consecrated your life to the
service of God, grant that I may hear the voice of the
Lord with submissiveness. Glory be to the Father,
5. O St. Anthony, true lily of purity,
do not permit that my soul be stained by sin but obtain
for me purity of heart from our Lord. Glory be to
the Father, etc.
6. O dear Saint, through whose intercession
so many sick people have found health, help my soul
to heal from sin and evil inclinations. Glory be
to the Father, etc.
7. O St. Anthony, you who have given
yourself to save your brothers, lead me through the
sea of life and give me your help in order that I may
reach the safe harbour of eternal salvation. Glory
be to the Father, etc.
8. O compassionate St. Anthony, you
who have freed so many condemned prisoners during your
life, obtain for me the grace that I be freed from the
bonds of sin and live in the grace of God for all eternity.
Glory be to the Father, etc..
9. O holy Thaumaturge, you who have
had the gift of reuniting to the body limbs that have
been cut off, grant that I may never be separated from
the love of God, and the unity of the Church. Glory
be to the Father, etc.
10. O Saint Anthony, you who have always
helped to find lost objects, grant that I may never
lose God's friendship, but that I may conserve it faithfully
throughout my life. Glory be to the Father, etc.
11. O patron of the poor, you who listen
to those who turn to you, receive my prayer and present
it to God that He might grant me His assistance.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
12. O St. Anthony, you who were the
untiring apostle of the word of God, grant that I may
bear witness to my faith with words and deeds. Glory
be to the Father, etc.
13. O most beloved St. Anthony, you
who have your blessed tomb in Padua, look upon my needs,
may your miraculous tongue speak to God for me, that
my prayers may be heard. Glory be to the Father,
Pray for us St. Anthony. Make us worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Almighty and Eternal God, you who in St. Anthony
of Padua have given to Your people an illustrious preacher
of the Gospel and a patron of the poor and the suffering,
grant to us, through your intercession, to follow your
teaching on Christian life and to experience, in trials,
the help of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
If then you ask for miracles
(translation of the "Si quaeris")
If then you ask for miracles,
Death, error and all calamities,
Leprosy and demons fly,
And health succeeds infirmities.
The sea obeys and fetters break,
And lifeless limbs you do restore;
While treasures lost are found again,
When young and old your aid implore.
All dangers vanish at your prayer,
And direst need does quickly flee;
Let those who know your power proclaim,
Let Paduans say: these are of thee.
To Father, Son, may glory be
And Holy Spirit, eternally.
Pray for us St. Anthony.
Make us worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Lord God, may the commemoration of
St. Anthony, Doctor of the Church, be a source of joy
to your people, so that, strengthened by his spiritual
assistance, they may become worthy of the eternal happiness
of your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
O Blessed Tongue (by
St. Bonaventure, 1263)
O blessed tongue, you who have always
praised the Lord and made others praise Him, now it
is clearly evident how much merit you have before the
(by St. Bonaventure)
Remember, O dear St. Anthony, that
you have always helped and consoled whoever had recourse
in you in his necessities.
Encouraged by the great confidence and by the certainty
of not praying in vain, I too turn to you, who are so
rich in merits before the Lord. Do not refuse my prayer
but grant that, through your intercession, it will reach
the throne of God.
Come to my aid in my present distress and necessity,
and obtain for me the grace that I ardently implore,
if it is for the good of my soul. Bless my work and
keep sicknesses and dangers of soul and body far from
my family. Grant that in time of suffering and trial
I may remain strong in faith and in the love of God.
Prayer for the family
Dear St. Anthony, we turn to you to
ask your protection for our family. Called by God, you
left your house to consecrate your life to good works
for your neighbour, and have come to the aid of countless
families, even with wondrous deeds, to bring peace and
Our dear patron, intervene in our favour: obtain for
us health of body and spirit from God, grant that we
may share in a true communion which will enable us to
open ourselves to love for our neighbour; grant that
our family be, like the Holy Family of Nazareth, a small
house of God and that every family in the world may
become a shrine to life and love. Amen.
Prayer for the Protection of Children
O Saint Anthony, we turn to you to
place that which we hold most precious and dear under
your protection: our children.
While you were immersed in prayer,
the Baby Jesus appeared to you. While you were leaving
this world you were comforted by the vision of our Lord,
and little children spread the news of your blessed
death: look upon these children who we place in your
care; help them to grow, as Jesus grew, in age, knowledge
Help them to preserve their innocence
and their simplicity of heart; grant that they may always
have the attentive affection and wise guidance of their
parents. Watch over them that as they grow in years
they may reach full maturity and, as Christians, be
examples of perfect faith.
O Saint Anthony, our patron, be close
to all children and comfort us too with your continuous
Pilgrim's prayer at the Tomb of
Dear St. Anthony, look kindly upon
me as I stand at your blessed tomb.
In my many needs, I have come here
to pray to you, confident that in your compassionate
goodness you will answer me. Present my petition to
God. Through your intercession, may He grant my particular
My faith is weak; yours was firm and constant. Through
your preaching you brought to life the faith of others;
strengthen my commitment to the Good News of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Make me a faithful member of His people
now so that I may praise the Father later in heaven.
Glorious St. Anthony, come to my aid; protect me from
all spiritual and bodily harm, and encourage me in my
moments of trial and suffering. Bless my family and
work. Be generous and kind toward your petitioners at
your tomb and to those scattered throughout the world.
Sign of the Cross - In the name of the Father,
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Glory Be to the Father- Glory
to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
Our Father - Our Father, who
art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give
us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead
us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary - Hail, Mary, full
of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and
at the hour of our death. Amen.
Hail, Holy Queen - Mother of
Mercy, Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to
you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in
this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile,
show onto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Prayer to our Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom his love commits me here,
Ever this day (or night) be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
Eternal rest - Eternal rest
grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine
upon them. Amen.
An act of Faith - O my God,
I firmly believe that you are one God in three Divine
Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that
your Divine Son became man and died for our sins, and
that He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic
Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who
can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
Act of Hope - O my God, relying
on your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises,
I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your
grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus
Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
Act of Love- O my God, I love
you above all things, with my whole heart and soul,
because you are all-good and worthy of all love. I love
my neighbour as myself for the love of you. I forgive
all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom
I have injured. Amen.