St Anthony visits the neighbourhood of Valías in the Redemptorist Mission of Albania


(Kamëz, Albania) Saint Anthony is the saint who receives more devotion throughout the country than the eagles. Every Albanian prays to Saint Anthony, including Muslims. The Franciscans have here a very famous shrine to which hundreds of Albanians move almost every day.

It is practically impossible to approach the sanctuary on the feast of St Anthony because from early the Albanians have been approaching to occupy a place where to spend the eve of the feast of the saint of Padua. In fact, some Albanians will tell you that Saint Anthony is more important than Jesus because in his image Saint Anthony is bigger and he is the one who holds Jesus.

The point is that Saint Anthony is one of the favorite saints of this Albanian town. So, with the intention of giving their proper respect which it deserves. The missionary community in Albania decided to go on a procession with the image of the saint in one of the neighborhoods of the parish of Kamëz. Before this procession we celebrated the Eucharist in the still empty ground that the parish has there, and then, accompanied above all by the women and children, we walked the neighborhood with the saint on our shoulders. The people of Valias were delighted and went out to their doors to greet the Saint of Padua. It was a true joy to be able to bring the miraculous saint closer to the sick.

Álvaro Ortiz Jiménez de Cisneros CSsR