St Anthony relics to visit the Friary
Wexford town is to be one of just fives venues in Ireland that will play host to the relics of St Anthony this week.
Though St Anthony died long ago in 1231, he remains an extremely popular saint in Ireland and across the world and is widely revered as the saint who helps to find lost things or people.
Wexford is the only stop on the relics' tour of the country that is not a city, and Fr Ciprian Budau is looking forward to welcoming them and the two Franciscan friars that accompany them to the Friary on Friday.
'As far as I'm aware, it could well be the first time the relics have visited Wexford,' said Fr Ciprian. 'It is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the spirituality of our Franciscan life and keeping in touch with people who regularly pray to St Anthony.
'I know a lot of people have told me that they pray to St Anthony whenever they lose keys or money or things like that, so he remains a very popular saint.'
St Anthony's relics will arrive in Wexford, accompanied by two friars from Padua, Italy, on Friday at around 12 noon and they will leave to return to Dublin. Other stops on the tour include Cork, Limerick and Galway.
'We will have a small procession and ceremony when the relics arrive,' said Fr Ciprian. 'Then there will be a Mass at 1:05 p.m., which I have invited all of the local schools to attend. After that there will be the veneration of the relics between 2:30 and 5 p.m. From 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. there will be mass and veneration for the Polish community in Wexford and then at 7 p.m. there will be a mass for everyone. I know a lot of people will be finished work by this time so hopefully they will get a chance to come and see the relics and pray. There will then be veneration from 8 to 9 p.m. before the relics are brought back to Dublin.'
Bishop Denis Brennan is also due to attend services throughout the day and a large number of visitors is anticipated throughout the day.