I’m pretty sure we all have a bucket list. A few things I’ve had on there since I was young are left unchecked – step foot on Antarctica, visit the worlds of Moomintroll in Finland and Sinbad in Baghdad, see the jacaranda bloom in Mexico City, the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, and the fall leaves and fishing towns in New England, etc.
A few days ago, I was able to cross off one bucket list item – participate in the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua in my great-grandparents’ hometown in Ferrazzano, Italy.
The day started with the band playing at 8 am in the main piazza, followed by mass, during which the priest talked about St Anthony’s life and importance. A group of about a dozen young boys dressed in the style of St. Anthony – brown Franciscan habits, rope belts tied around their waists, and holding white lilies – sang at the end. The night before, there had been a special blessing of bread, which was then distributed for all. That bread had been freshly baked by some church committee members at a bread bakery in town. This morning after mass, more bread was distributed, carried by the boys in St. Anthony clothes as they walked through the streets of the town, though this bread consisted of freshly blessed buns in plastic packages.
Afterwards, another mass was held in the main piazza…
…another procession through the town…
…and a fireworks display that put the 4th of July to shame. (Have you ever had to pick “happy shrapnel” from fireworks out of your hair at a 4th of July show? No. No, you haven’t.)
A few other things from Ferrazzano..