Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica in Padua, Veneto, Northern Italy, dedicated to St. Anthony. The Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world. The basilica is known locally as “il Santo”. It is one of the eight international shrines recognized by the Holy See.

The Basilica of St Anthony, whose construction began immediately after the death of the Saint (1231) and was completed at the beginning of the following century, is an imposing building in the Romanesque-Gothic style, with eight domes and steeples in oriental style. As a real treasure chest of faith and art, it enshrines St Anthony’s body and is a pilgrimage destination for millions of devotees coming from all over the world every year. Among the numberless works of art preserved in the interior of the church, stand out the frescoes by Altichiero and Giusto de’ Menabuoi (end of the 14th century); the Crucifix, the statues and the bronze reliefs of the High Altar, superlative works by Donatello (1444- 1448); the Altar of the Saint and the Treasure Chapel up to the 20th century decorations by Achille Casanova, Pietro Annigoni and others. From the Cloister of the Blessed Luca Belludi you can reach the Antonine Museum, which exhibits paintings, sculptures, jewellery and sacred vestments manufactured for the Basilica over the centuries. Close to the Basilica there is St George Oratory, which contains a great cycle of frescoes by Altichiero (1379-1384), and the Scuola del Santo, which preserves, among others, three famous frescoes by Titian (1511). In the parvis of the Basilica stands the bronze equestrian monument of Erasmo da Narni, called Gattamelata, a masterpiece by Donatello accomplished in 1453.

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The Basilica of St Anthony, Padua, Italy
The Basilica of St Anthony, Padua, Italy
The Basilica of St Anthony, Padua, Italy

Art works and treasures

The interior of the church contains numerous funerary monuments, some of noteworthy artistic value. The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento, also known as Cappella Gattamelata), in the right aisle, houses the tomb of the famous condottiero Gattamelata and of his son Giannantonio. The bronze tabernacle is made by Girolamo Campagna. This chapel, with its broad bands of polychrome and carved Gothic details, has had many stages of decoration, the final stage being the creation of an mosaic in the tall rear niche representing the Holy Spirit with rays of golden light descending against a background of intensely blue sky. This work was created by Lodovico Pogliaghi between 1927–36.

Relics of St Anthony are to be found in the ornate Baroque Treasury Chapel (begun in 1691). The body of the saint, which was in the Madonna Mora Chapel, has, from 1350, lain in a separate transept chapel, the Chapel of St Anthony, the interior decoration being attributed to Tullio Lombardo, who also provided the sixth and seventh reliefs depicting the miracles of St Anthony (Miracle of the stingy man’s heart, Miracle of the repentant man). The third relief Saint bringing back to life a man who had been murdered is a masterpiece by Girolamo Campagna. The late-16th century statues are by Tiziano Aspetti

The Basilica contains several important images of the Madonna. The Madonna Mora is a statue of the Madonna with the Christ Child by the French sculptor Rainaldino di Puy-l’Evéque, dating from 1396. Her name refers to her black hair and olive skin tone, being interpreted as “swarthy”.

The Madonna del Pilastro is a mid-14th-century fresco by Stefano da Ferrara, located on the pier adjacent the left aisle. Among other sculptural work is the Easter candelabrum in the apse, finished in 1515 by Andrea Briosco and considered his masterwork. The high altar area features the bronze Madonna with Child and six statues of Saints by Donatello, who also executed four reliefs with episodes of life of St. Anthony. To the right hand side of the nave, opposite the tomb of the Saint is the large Chapel of St. James, commissioned by Bonifacio Lupi in the 1370s in Gothic style, with frescoed walls depicting the Stories of St. James and the Crucifixion by Altichiero da Zevio. Altichiero’s Crucifixion is one of the most significant paintings of the late 14th century.[citation needed] There are several frescoes created by Girolamo Tessari.

The chin and tongue of St. Anthony are displayed in a gold reliquary at the Basilica

Images

The Basilica of St Anthony, Padua, Italy
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Religious Destinations

Religious destinations have always been of great importance to people throughout the ages no matter what their own personal beliefs may be, and whether they are making a pilgrimage, seeking spiritual enlightenment or just enjoying travelling with the purpose of seeing the beauty.

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Openings

weekdays
With summer time: 6.20 am – 7.45 pm
With solar time: 6.20 am – 6.45 pm

Saturday and Sunday
6.20 – 19.45

Holy Masses

Weekdays (Monday to Friday and Saturday morning)
Morning: 6.20 – 7.00 ( in the Chapter Room, access from the Magnolia Cloister ) – 7.30 – 8.15 – 9.00 – 10.00 – 11.00
Afternoon: 16.00 (with solar time) – 17.00 – 18.00 (with summer time) – On Tuesday and Friday of the ordinary time at the end of the Mass at 5.00 pm, the Antonian prayer of Tredicina (Tuesday) and of the Transit (Friday).

Prefestive

Afternoon: 16.00 – 17.00 -18.00 – 19.00

Festive

Morning: 6.30 am – 7.15 am – 8.00 am – 9.00 am – 10.00 am – 11.00 am (cantata) – 12.15 pm
Afternoon: 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm
During some solemnities it is possible that the 6.00 pm mass will be suppressed, to allow a more relaxed performance of the solemn Mass 17:00.

Confessions

With solar time

Monday to Friday 7.00-12.00 and 13.30-18.00
Saturday 7.00-12.00 and 14.00-19.30
Sunday 6.30-12.30 and 14.00-19.30

With summer time

from Monday to Saturday 6.30-12.00 13.30-19.30
Sunday 6.30-12.30 14.00-19.30

Chapel of Blessings

Monday to Friday 9.00-19.30 (18.30 with solar time)
Saturday 9.00-16.00
Sunday 13.30-16.00
The chapel is closed during Masses on Sunday mornings and on solemnities.

Liturgy of the Hours

Monday to Saturday 6.55 am – 7.30 am Office of Readings and Praises in the Basilica.

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