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Photo of pastor in the procession
Father Mark Hushen, Pastor, St. Anthony of Padua Church, receives donations in processional, 1998

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St. Anthony of Padua Feast Day Procession
A Local Legacy

Have you ever lost something and really wanted to find it? Next time that happens, you might try asking St. Anthony for help. For Italian Catholics, St. Anthony of Padua is the patron saint of lost things. The faithful pray to him and hope that whatever they have lost will be found.

The Italian American people of Wilmington, Delaware, celebrate St. Anthony and 11 other saints with the St. Anthony of Padua Feast Day Procession. This annual religious procession, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2000, is a reminder of their Italian heritage and faith. Traditionally, such festivals were held in Italian towns celebrating the local patron saint. In 1925, a church in Wilmington held a procession to honor St. Anthony. Over the years, the festival expanded to include 11 other saints and has become an eight- day celebration.

In the procession, statues of all 12 saints are paraded through the streets, joined by religious leaders, government officials, people dressed in Italian folk costumes, bands, and others.

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