The participants of the 2020 batch of formation for Rogationist Formations concluded their program with the pilgrimage to St. Anthony in Padua on September 21-24. They traced the Anthonian Sanctuaries connected to the St. Anthony in his final years in Padua. In Camposampiero, around 20 kilometers away from the city center, St. Anthony established his community of friars. It is said that people flocked to listen to his explanation of the Gospels preaching from the hazel tree. Tradition has it also that St. Anthony had a vision of the Child Jesus in his cell. The formators also visited the Basilica of the Saint in the Center, the museum, and the friars' cloister. They also participated in the Mass on Tuesday. They conclude the Anthonian "cammino" in the Church of Arcella where St. Anthony died in 1231. The great miracle worker is strictly connected with the history and mission of the Rogationist Congregation.
Taking advantage of the stay in Padua, they also visited the Church of St. Justina where the relics of the body of St. Luke and St. Matthias are venerated.
In the context of the Rogationists' presence and apostolate in Padua, Fr. Vito Giorgio shared the origins of the mission in Padua while Fr. Carmelo Capizzi and Fr. Raffaele Sacco explained about the pastoral service of the Parish of the Good Shepherd which celebrated its golden jubilee last year, the socio-educational institutions, and the welcome to the migrants. The Headquarters of the Italy Center-North Province is based also in the House of Padua.
On Wednesday, the group went to Mairano, Brescia to celebrate a memorial Mass for Father Cesare Bettoni. Some of the formators were his formands in the Novitiate and the Religious Center of Studies. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, they were not able to participate in the funeral held last May. The Bettoni Family then offered lunch in their house and a tour of their dairy farm.
On the way back to Padua, the confreres passed by our community in Desenzano del Garda for a quick visit. On the last day, they spent the morning visiting Venice to pray at the tomb of St. Mark and explore the amazing city, before heading back to Rome.