By Emily Drooby
Fanfare filled the streets and prayers filled the pews of Our Lady of Peace as hundreds gathered to celebrate St. Anthony Of Padua’s feast day.
It’s a beloved tradition in the Gowanus, Brooklyn neighborhood. One that Millie Lamanno has been a part of for more than half a century.
“My prayers are always answered, that’s why I have faith in him, him and I are like this, that’s why I love him,” said Lamanno.
Millie is 101 years old but she’s still volunteering on this feast day, hanging offerings on St. Anthony’s Shrine. She’s helping him because as the patron saint of lost items, he has always helped her.
“Whenever I lost an item I always talked to St. Anthony, my prayers are always answered, whatever I wished for I was always successful, that’s why I have deep faith in St. Anthony,” she said.
If something is lost you can grab a metal and ask St Anthony for his help and that missing item will likely be found.
“And you know the funny part of it all, I find my things and that why I have so much faith that I’m helping here so many years,” said Vivian Ceravolo, a diocese of Brooklyn parishioner.
Those metals were sold at the church. Along with flowers, bread, oils, all have deep importance.
“The bread represents the giving of our abundance that we have gifts that we share what we have with many. The lilies that we have is actually representative of purity. Tradition has it that two of the lilies themselves, the fragrance that it has the oils is used to mix with other oil. Those who are in need of anointing they can anoint themselves to the devotion of St Anthony and receive graces as well, the metals are to remember the feast then it’s another symbol for keeping Anthony close to heart,” explained Father Orlando Ruiz, OFM, the pastor of Our Lady of Peace.
Parishioners and clergy also showed their love for St. Anthony by celebrating mass throughout the day.