St Anthony Unveiled and Blessed
Today the new statue of St Anthony was unveiled and blessed.
The statue has been carved in Germany by Ewald Böggemann, using photographs and the remains of the old statue. It took over 250 hours to carve.
The two-flowered lily that St Anthony holds had been carved separately, and was placed in the hands of the statue. The lily is associated with a particular miracle worked through the intercession of St Anthony — a lily was once placed in the hands of a statue of him and sprouted a second flower, which proved to have miraculous healing powers. We prayed that all who come to St Anthony for help in their illness might be healed through his intercession.
The original statue was discovered on fire on the feast of the Guardian Angels. The following prayer was used to thank God for the continuing protection of his angels:
O ever-loving Lord, we give you thanks for the preservation of this our church from serious damage and destruction by fire through the intercession and watchfulness of your holy angels. Grant that all who enter this building may be filled with a sense of wonder and awe in your presence, and, experiencing love and fellowship in this place, may give their lives over to you whose service is perfect freedom, and come at length to enjoy the bliss of heaven with all your saints and angels. We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
There are also some pictures of the statue in progress: