A Baby Jesus statuette, known as the Baby Jesus of Padua, is exposed on the main altar of the Franciscan church in Victoria. The statuette, dating to the 18th century, is put on the main altar each year during the feast of St Anthony.
The miraculous effigy is brought to homes as a relief to sick people as also to those who are expecting a baby. In fact, each time a grace is earned with the intercession of Baby Jesus, those healed offer a new dress to effigy, besides other votives.
Meanwhile, the feast of St Anthony will be celebrated by the friars in Victoria on June 13. Masses will be said at 6.30am, 7.30, 8.30 and 11am. Children are being asked to bring a flower to St Anthony at 9.30am, when Fr Etienne Gilson OFM Conv, will celebrate Mass during which small bread buns are blessed and later handed out to the sick as a devotional offering. Children will be blessed and babies presented to the saint.
The blessed bread buns will be presented to sick persons at Gozo General Hospital at 3pm. Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma will lead a concelebrated Mass at 5pm. The Stella Maris choir, directed by Mro Carmel Peter Grech, will take part.
On Friday, Fr Gilson will celebrate Mass for the sick and the elderly at 9am. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be administered. The singing and music will be by soprano Rosabelle Pavia and Ivan Attard.
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