Shrine for Saint Anthony — St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Bangalore

A stand-alone Shrine for St. Anthony adjoins the boy’s school located in the Cathedral compound.

The shrine statue of the Saint is enclosed by a steel screen and sits in front of a church structure built of light-colored rock.   Inside the locked screen enclosure stands a statue of Saint Anthony with theological symbolism associated with him: he is holding the Child Jesus which is representative of a vision that Saint Anthony had just before his death at an Italian hermitage in 1231 in Italy called Camposampiero in which he was found in ecstasy with an image of Baby Jesus.  The Child sits on top of a book which is symbolic of his knowledge and preaching skills inspired by the Bible.   The saint holds a stem of lilies in his right arm representing purity.   A couple of interesting aspects of this statue are the black knotted cords tied around the bottom of the statue and may represent prayers, offerings or petitions.  Also interesting are the features of the statue of the Child Jesus which has some similar features of the traditional Infant Jesus image including His left hand atop a blue orb (representing the Earth) and His right two fingers raised in blessing, although pointed at an oblique angle.

Inside the shrine enclosure is a metal box label “St. Anthony’s Bread Box” with an arrow on the top for donations.    Bread from the box, or purchased with donations from the box, is distributed on Tuesdays of each week. The church behind the shine is closed for renovation, so Masses are held in the Cathedral on Tuesday evenings.