Messina, the basilica of S. Antonio turns 100 years old. The program of the festivities

100 years have passed since the foundation of the basilica of S. Antonio, a concrete sign of material and spiritual reconstruction in the light of the charity that Father Annibale Maria di Francia carried out in his long and significant evangelizing work. The canon dreamed of a majestic, artistic temple, where to pray to God Master of the Mass for Vocations and St. Anthony of Padua and for this reason in 1906 he launched an invitation to all the devotees of St. Anthony to contribute to its construction with the offering; a dream that survived the 1908 earthquake thanks to the enthusiasm of devotion of the people of Messina and of all the Antonian faithful around the world, which became reality with the laying of the first stone of the building, blessed on April 3, 1921. An important centenary that in this time of pandemic transfigures the value of the hope of rebirth, which the rogationist family celebrates with a series of religious and cultural initiatives, the result of a virtuous institutional synergy, presented this morning during a press conference by the rector Father Mario Magro which opened with the presentation of a video made by the journalist Antonio Ivan Bellantoni. Present the councilor for the show of the Municipality of Messina Francesco Gallo and the presidents of the Conservatory “Corelli” Giuseppe Ministeri and of the cultural association “Cara Beltà” Milena Romeo.

The program of the festivities

The solemn celebrations will open on Thursday 8 April at 6 pm with a mass presided over by the auxiliary bishop Msgr. Cesare Di Pietro and the inauguration of the permanent photographic exhibition entitled “Let Messina rise again. 1921-2021: 100 years of the sanctuary of S. Antonio a journey of hope ”by Milena Romeo, the first of numerous important cultural initiatives that will take place during the year. Sunday 11, at 5.30 pm, the solemn pontifical presided over by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with the opening of the Holy Door and the reading of the Papal Bull at the beginning of the Jubilee; at the end, homage will be paid to the mortal remains of S. Annibale. For the occasion, the facade of the basilica will be embellished with artistic lighting curated by the municipal administration. Saturday 10 April at 8.30 pm, the “Concerto del Centenario” by Corelli; to perform the choir of the Conservatory directed by Maestro Michele Amoroso, with the reciting voice of Gianni Fortunato Pisani and the soloist Daniele Muscolino accompanied on the organ by Stefania La Manna; the event, which will take place behind closed doors, will be broadcast live on our broadcaster. On 12 April at 6 pm the mass will be presided over by Msgr. Carlo Mazza ecclesiastical assistant of the national Sanctuaries link, of which Father Magro is president; at 7.30 pm the second concert curated by Corelli. On Tuesday 13 April, Father Magro will commemorate the 25th anniversary of his priesthood during the celebration at 6 pm presided over by Archbishop Giovanni Accolla. Tomorrow at 20.50 on TV2000 the rosary live from the Basilica of S. Antonio. Journalist Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See, spoke in streaming at the press conference, underlining the value of this anniversary, a bridge between past and future, which helps to rediscover and communicate charity and love indispensable for a true reconstruction, and Prof. Antonio Martino, from Messina and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, particularly close to the rogationist reality. All religious events will take place in compliance with anti-Covid safety regulations.

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