Today is the feast of St Antony of Padua, and at the Oxford Oratory the celebrations have been enhanced by the installation of a new statue of the saint. Last October, as I wrote in St Anthony's Fire, the previous statue caught fire and was seriously damaged. Fortunately the fire did not get a chance to spread to any other part of the fabric of the church. As this happened on the Feast of the Guardian Angels, well we know who we need to thank!
Yesterday on the vigil of his feast the new statue, an exceptionally close copy in fact, which has been carved in Bavaria to replace it was unveiled and blessed. There are two accounts of this from the Oratory websitewhich can be seen at St Anthony Veiled and at St Anthony Unveiled and Blessed.
Unfortunately I was not able to be at the ceremony last night, but today the new statue looks very fine, splenddily adorned with flowers at the saint's feet and surrounded with candles, other flowers and, most importantly the prayers and devotion of the faithful.
St Antony pray for us.