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WhatsApp Image 2021-02-04 at 15.41.31SANT'ANTONIO ABATE (fresco first half of the 16th century)

The devotion to Sant'Antonio Abate in the district of San Giuseppe in Treviso

On January 17th, Sant'Antonio Abate is celebrated, one of the most illustrious and long-lived hermits in the history of the church, born around 250 in Egypt. Founder of Monasticism and protector, as well as hermits, even domestic animals and stables. This connection to animals can be traced back to a disease, now scientifically known as herpes zoster or, more commonly, "shingles" which in ancient times made many victims. The Antonian friars built a shelter in France to assist and cure them and the Pope gave them the privilege of freely raising pigs whose fat was used as an antidote to the disease. The pigs of the Antonians wore an identification bell around their necks.
On the day in which the Saint is remembered, the stables and animals are blessed and in some country villages it is still customary to light fires in memory of "the fires of St. Anthony" with a purifying and fertilizing function that marked the passage from winter to spring.
In the images, Sant'Antonio Abate is recognizable by the pastoral staff, by the T-cross, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet alluding to the end, by the fire, a pig and a bell.
At the Civic Museum of Treviso there is a beautiful image: a fresco by Giovanni d 'Sacchis, known as Pordenone (PN 1483 - FE 1539) detached in 1937 from the small church annexed to the hospice for pilgrims dedicated to the saint and which was located in San Giuseppe until its destruction to build the current overpass. Well, today it could protect against new "pilgrims" arriving or departing from the nearby airport. Trad. G.S.

 
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