“Repent, and believe in the Gospel. The kingdom of God is at hand!”
These words continue to ring in our ears so many centuries after they were pronounced on the lips of Jesus and later recounted by Mark’s gospel. Yet, those words ring true to us today. Many people have heralded this message by their testimony, but more eloquently by their lives, living virtue and succeeding in the life of charity.
On my trip to Padua I had the experience of learning more about one particular individual, St. Anthony. This extraordinary saint was canonized just a year after his death in 1231. He was an eloquent preacher who brought the love of God to all that he met. I urge you to click the link above to learn more about this holy man!
St. Anthony wasn’t the only one to capture my attention this weekend. To my surprise both St. Matthias and St. Luke are buried in Padova! St. Luke the evangelist is another amazing figure who traveled with St. Paul and wrote both the gospel and the “Acts of the Apostles”. Matthias was the last Apostle to be given the title, as we find in the book of Acts. St. Luke accounts the way Matthias was chosen to be counted among the twelve. In order to be considered, Matthias had to accompany the Lord during His lifetime, be a witness to the Resurrection of Jesus and be present at Pentecost. The only time we hear of Matthias is when he is chosen to replace Judas as one of the Twelve. We know, however, that he must have been a dynamic Christian, filled with faith and zeal to be counted among the Apostles.
These three people could not have been more different in their unique role of carrying out the Christian message. How wonderful it is to remember their stories, travel to the places where they once spread the gospel message, and ponder the mysteries that they encountered! Yet, it reminds us that we all have a unique charism in living out the Christian message and carrying it forward to the next generation. I would encourage you to read the lives of the saints and become well acquainted with our triumphant brothers and sisters who have been faithful to the message of Christ and have been rewarded with everlasting life. May we, like them, find ourselves sharing in the heavenly glory that awaits those who have heeded Christ’s words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel, the kingdom of God is at hand!”.
Enjoy the Photos!