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Did you Know St. Anthony Friary

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Joseph and Elizabeth Nurre bought a country estate at the top of Mt. Airy and donated it to the Franciscan friars.

Cornerstone laid, building constructed, friars moved in.

Archbishop Elder consecrated the chapel on Thanksgiving Day. The large Romanesque brick chapel (which fronts the attached friary and novice house) originally had eight side altars and was lavishly decorated in German style with statues and paintings from Europe.

First friars invested on the Feast of the Assumption.

Mother (now Saint) Katherine Drexel visited to suggest the Franciscan Provincial send friars west to minister to Native Americans.

Extensive chapel renovations transformed the chapel into a spare, airy space; eight wooden saint statues remain in niches to mark the side altars’ locations.

“People drop in here all day long to pray, and come by all day and all night to light candles in the outdoor shrine.” — Br. Vince Delorenzo, OFM

“Please kindly pray for me that God might intervene in my life. Pray that God might lift up my life to the topmost sky.” — Prayer streamed from overseas

4 Banks of candles in the outdoor brick shrine (for St. Anthony, St. Francis, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Sorrows)

1 First-class relic of St. Anthony, kept in the chapel beneath a wooden statue of the saint

1 Video monitor shows a live feed of prayers to the saint coming in from around the world

1 Columnar, glass-fronted, wooden tabernacle displays
an elaborately molded ciborium for Eucharistic adoration

36 Stained glass windows

1 Replica of the San Damiano cross hangs over the altar.

Originally in the choir at the Duns Scotus College House of Philosophy chapel, it was moved to the shrine after the college closed in 1979.

St. Anthony is usually depicted with one or more of these symbols: a book for his scholarship, a lily for his purity, or the infant Christ for an event reported by a man who rushed into St. Anthony’s room, thinking it was on fire, and saw St. Anthony with the Christ child.

“Mt. Airy” is the familiar name for the National Shrine of St. Anthony and Friary sitting on a hill above Cincinnati. It’s located at 5000 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223.

This article appeared in the February 2023 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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