Dear devotee of St Antony of Padua,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer and Healer!
I am very happy to write to you in the joyous occasion of the beginning of the Golden Jubilee of our diocese, the Diocese of Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA. It was the most gracious occasion for the Catholics in the then Vicariate of Palayamkottai (today’s Thirunelveli and Ambasamudram Taluks of Tirunelveli District, Kayathar and Kovilpatti Taluks of Thoothukudi District and the whole of Tenkasi District) when Pope St Paul VI signed the bifurcation of the new diocese of Palayamkottai on May 17, 1973. It was divine providence which guided the Catholics of this area to grow deeper in Catholic faith and in Christian lifestyle.
As diocese celebrates the Golden Jubilee, we shall also take effort to amend our lifestyle at home, at work, among our relatives and friends and in the society. The Diocesan Shrine of St Antony of the Diocese of Palayamkottai has its history well before the bifurcation of the Diocese of Palayamkottai. It has been a spiritual ground for the spiritual exercise, a shrine to connect with God through St Antony of Padua and a resting place for the priests and the religious awaiting the Judgment Day, Resurrection and Eternal Life.
Any devotee who enters the campus is able to begin the spiritual exercise through penance and reconciliation which leads to meet God in the Shrine through Holy Eucharist and to pray for the priests resting in the Lord for the repose of their souls, which of course reminds us of our Judgment too. Thus, the devotee finds encouragement to lead a good, God-fearing life and to amend one’s lifestyle to be counted among the flock of Christ on His right side. In addition, St Antony helps each who enters by his exemplary lifestyle and by his intercessions. May God bless and guide the devotees who visits this shrine through St Antony of Padua.
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Rev. Fr S. Joseph Johnson