For the 800th anniversary of Sant’Antonio di Padova in Forlì (1222-2022), guided tours to discover the saint’s places in Forlì and Montepaolo in a project conceived by Silvia Sansovini and Gabriele Zelli and carried out in collaboration with Confguide Forlì. Guided tours to discover the places of Sant’Antonio di Padova in Forlì will start from the Abbey of San Mercuriale, where nearby Father Antonio may have manifested his extraordinary skills, and then continue to the place where the first modest Franciscan church was built (in the area of via Antonio Fratti). The third stage will take place in the current Piazza Cavour where the Franciscans erected the Church of San Francesco Grande to end in the Duomo, another place where Father Antonio may have held his first sermon, where a painting dedicated to the Saint is kept, right next to it. of the altar of the Madonna del Fuoco, painted by Guido Cagnacci (Santarcangelo di Romagna 1601 – Vienna 1663). The guided tours in the locality of Montepaolo di Dovadola will involve the Sanctuary of Sant’Antonio, the cave and the areas surrounding the hermitage.
The meetings, conceived by Silvia Sansovini and Gabriele Zelli, in collaboration with Confguide Forlì-Cesena, will take place in Forlì on Saturdays 17 and 24 September 2022, with meeting and departure at 16.00 at the cloister of San Mercuriale, with a further time scheduled for Saturday 1 October, at 10.00, always starting at the Abbey. While in Montepaolo the two appointments are scheduled for Sundays on Sundays 18 and 25 Septemberwith meeting at 9.30, at the Santuario di Sant’Antonio, via Montepaolo 24, Dovadola.
The visits, which will not take place in case of rain, will be conducted, alternatively, by Chiara Macherozzi and Ivan Severi, qualified guides associated with Confguide Forlì-Cesena.
For information: Gabriele Zelli 3493737026.
Fernando Martins de Bulhões (Lisbon 1195 – Padua 1231) entered the Franciscan order in September 1220 and changed his baptismal name to Antonio. He left as a missionary in Morocco. When he arrived in Africa, he probably contracted a tropical disease that prevented him from staying just over a few months. He left for Spain, but a storm and the consequent sinking of his boat made him land in Sicily. From here, after being treated and healed, he decided to walk up the peninsula to participate in the Chapter of Mats which was held in May 1221 in Assisi; event attended by about 5,000 friars. The meeting was wanted by Francis of Assisi as it was necessary to discuss the text of the Rule of the Franciscan movement to be submitted to the approval of the Roman Curia. When the Chapter had ended and all the friars were returning to their places of origin, Antonio was noted for his extraordinary humility and spirituality and was assigned to a small hermitage, that of Montepaolo di Dovadola, where some friars already lived. Here he went to celebrate Mass for his non-priestly brothers. He arrived there in June 1221 and remained there for more than a year, until September 1222. In the solitude of the hermitage, he lived an extraordinary experience of prayer, penance and contemplation. The confreres did not immediately realize the abilities and profound biblical culture of Friar Antonio, but this could emerge in the course of his sermons and it was thus that they suggested, on the occasion of a priestly ordination held in Forlì, that it was Antonio himself in introduce the rite with an appropriate sermon. The provincial of the Franciscan friars, Fra Graziano, learned of the fact and of the great participation and admiration that he had aroused, assigned Antonio the task of preaching and in a short time he became known, famous and followed. He died in 1231 and the following year he was proclaimed a saint. At the time he was referred to as Sant’Antonio da Forlì, as is still reported today on a plaque in the cathedral of Lisbon.