Sri Lankans gather in Padua for the 22nd ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya’ | Daily News

Sri Lankans gather in Padua for the 22nd ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya’

The festive high mass of St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, Italy was held on May 1 where Sri Lankans also gathered for the 22nd ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya.’
The festive high mass of St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, Italy was held on May 1 where Sri Lankans also gathered for the 22nd ‘Jathika Kithunu Raliya.’

The festive high mass of St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, Italy was held on May 1. The twenty two-year old feast under the initiation of Rev. Msgr. Neville Joe Perera, National Coordinator of Sri Lankan migrants in Italy is a significant ‘national event’ amongst the migrant and working community in Italy.

Sri Lankans gather in Padua as one nation irrespective of caste and creed to celebrate their solidarity with one another; especially to receive the blessings through their most loved saint, St. Anthony of Padua.

The Bishop of Kurunegala and Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for migrants His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony, who presided over the special event stated that “The Catholic Church in the midst of Her darkest hour of persecution in Sri Lanka has been called to be ever firm in the missionary mandate given by our Lord and to believe in the Lord’s promise that ‘I will be with you till the end of the ages’”.

Considering the tragic Easter bombings that took place in Sri Lanka, the feast focused mainly on the souls of the departed and the families of those affected.

Thousands gathered for the mass amidst security fears. His Lordship expressed his concerns over the need for powerful prayer of intercession for the persecuted Christian community in Sri Lanka as well as the disturbed masses in the Island. He furtherappreciated the brave leadership of His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo during this difficult time.

Rev. Msgr. Neville Joe Perera expressed his condolences to the grieving Sri Lankans and assured the full support of the Italians towards the Christian community in Sri Lanka, both spiritually and materially.Further, he informed the gathering that the Rector and the priestly community at the sacred shrine of St. Anthony at Padua have expressed their willingness to reconstruct the Shrine of St. Anthony at Kochchikade by their generous contributions.

He further informed not to make private money collections for such renovation projects but to collect such donations together towards a common fund under the supervision of His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.

Such a fund would not only focus on the rebuilding of the Churches that have been damaged, but alsowill mainly focus on the families affected, he added. The Feast was attended by a large community of Sri Lankan migrants residing in Italy.

The Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Italy, Daya Pelpola and Mrs.Pelpola also participated at this special event. The highlight of the day’s celebration was not the ordinary procession, but the fact that each pilgrim was granted the privilege of venerating the relic of St.Anthony of Padua.

This event provided the opportunity for Catholics living in Italy to make a powerful prayer of intercession for the affected Churches and also the families in Sri Lanka.

 


 

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