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Thousands of pilgrims celebrate St Antony’s feast in Bangladesh

(Photo by Ripon Abraham Tolentinu / RVA News)

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, devotees flocked to Saint Antony’s pilgrimage on May 13 at Panjura, Bangladesh and in other parts of the country.
According to church sources, the feast of Saint Antony is famous among Catholics and others in the country. 

Saint Antony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born on August 15, 1195, and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in Padua, Italy on June 13, 1231.
Although the pilgrimage is celebrated on the first Friday of February in the presence of millions of people every year, it has not been possible to observe it on a large scale for the last two years due to the epidemic and government restrictions.
Bishop Shorot Francis Gomes of Sylhet offered the Mass on the occasion.  
Also present were Auxiliary Bishop Theotonius Gomez, Father Gabriel Corraya, vicar general of Archdiocese of Dhaka, and Father George Kamal Rozario, provincial superior of Holy Cross Priests of Bangladesh. 
In addition, thousands of Christians, including many priests, brothers and nuns attend it.
In his homily, Bishop Gomes, said, “Though the weather was bad for last nine days, many devotees attended the feast.”
“Saint Antony wants us to be reconciled to God through his intercession so that we may become holy and faithful Christians,” he added.
The local government took strict security measures on the occasion of the pilgrimage. 
On this occasion, prayers were offered for the progress of Bangladesh, especially for peace between Russia and Ukraine.  - Ripon Abraham Tolentinu 


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