Reflecting on Padua
Image: L–R: St Anthony's Basilica; Church of the Eremitani; Scrovegni Chapel with Giotto's Last Judgement. Photos by Vincent
For the 2nd half of our day (23 July) in the Veneto region, we returned to Padova (Padua) to visit and pray in the Basilica of St Anthony.
St Anthony is more than just the stereotype of: Patron of lost car keys.
He is the Patron of all things and people who are lost. e.g., Lost faith, lost hope, family members who have fallen away from the faith, etc.
I can confirm that I did place my hand upon the coffin of St Anthony; saying a 'Thank You' on behalf of all those in my family, in my parish, and one former parish sacristan in particular.
After the Basilica, we then went by foot to the Scrovegni Chapel, stopping for a moment of prayer inside the next-door Church of the Eremitani (the Church of the Hermits), a former–Augustinian church from the 13th century.
It is still a – somewhat – active church. Sadly there are so few mass goers due to EVERYONE in Padova going to St Anthony's, that it is used more for concert recitals than for religious services. However, the Blessed Sacrament IS still reposed there upon the high altar.
(Yes, that does look very much like our bishop, sans cap, kneeling in the foreground.)
Finally we made our way into the Scrovegni Chapel after having been dehumidified in the external Glass Waiting Room.
I won't beat around the bush, I wasn't especially "wowed" by the Chapel. In it and Giotto's defense, I will say that trying to soak in the surroundings whilst listening to our wonderful tour guide be effusive over the artwork was, for me, a no-goal. To be fair, it was late in the afternoon, the light quality was low, and adrenalin was near empty.
The conservation-enforced 15 minute viewing time within the Chapel, while possible enough for the average visitor, was not enough for this little artist to fully slow down and give both Giotto and his disciples’ work the attention and openness of heart and mind that they truly deserve.
St Anthony, help us to find our pilgrim hearts and minds, help us to experience what we are meant to in our God–caused journey. Amen.
Vincent Cavanagh #bbwyd
24 July 2023, 9:18am, Italy, 5.18pm Sydney.
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