Monday, May 9, 2011

Italy Day 22 {Padua}

Pilgrims at La Basilica del Santo Antonio, Padua, Italy

Praying at the tomb of St. Anthony of Padua, a pilgrimage site visited by millions, was truly a highlight of our time in Padua.  St. Anthony of Padua, known as a tremendous teacher of the Gospel, and having the gift of miracles (1 Corinthians 12: 9-10) brings many souls closer to Christ every day by his powerful prayers to God on our behalf.  A constant stream of pilgrims flows through basilica in Padua, giving thanks to God for the gift of St. Anthony and asking St. Anthony's intercession for their intentions.

View of Padau from our hotel window near the Padua train station, Italy

Basilia of St. Anthony, Padau, Italy

The reliquary inside the Basilica of St. Anthony contained dozens of sacred relics, and is appropriately named the "Treasury Chapel."  Crowded, but with a hushed silence, the reliquary was a place where awe and wonder at the many miraculous gifts from God floods a pilgrim's soul.  To merely list the items on display or to describe the sights in writing simply cannot convey the pure joy and wonder we felt in witnessing up-close this physical evidence of God's amazing works.

Sights in Padua beyond the basilica included an over-abundance of bicycles.  No where in Italy did we see anything like the cycling presence in Padua.  At the train station, a bicycle storage area held literally hundreds of bicycles.  On every street there were cyclists of every age (except children) pedaling along to their destinations. 

Elderly cyclist captured on the sly-cam as we walked along the sidewalk in Padua, Italy.
Our dinner at a table in an outdoor square in Padua ended abruptly when the wind picked up and the debris from the city streets began blowing into our eyes (and food).  A storm was brewing, and our request to move to an indoor table was met with polite acceptance, though it was an ordeal for our server to relocate us and our meals and beverages.  Walking to our hotel in a light drizzling rain after our meal, we appreciated the fact that our entire trip to this point had been blessed with gorgeous weather.  We watched a lightening storm from our hotel room window, and repeatedly assured Peter at bedtime that the hotel was really and truly safe from lightening attacks. 

  • Who knew how excited we would be to see cold milk offered at breakfast?
  • Ordering a "double" cappuccino often results in being served two cappuccinos, rather than one cappuccino with two shots of espresso.
  • Reading travel guides (rather than just carrying them) and studying about a location before arrival could save hours of needless chaos and strife!
Do's and Don'ts: posted at the front entrance to the Basilica of St. Anthony, Padua, Italy

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