An Irish tour of the relics of Saint Anthony of Padua begins at Fairview in Dublin.

The relics of the Franciscan monk Saint Anthony of Padua, one of the Catholic Church's most popular saints, are in Ireland for a nine day tour of patron parishes and Franciscan friaries in Dublin and Carlow.

The remains of the Franciscan monk arrive at The Church of Lady of the Visitation in Fairview escorted by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazarotto and Cardinal Desmond Connell. Members of Scouting Ireland and school children form a guard of honour as the relics are carried into the church.

Devotees were delighted to see what’s said to be part of the body of the 13th century saint, carried in the lamp like container.

One worshipper whose brother is named after Saint Anthony explains,

I find him a wonderful saint.

Saint Anthony is famous for his power to return lost possessions. So when the poles used to carry the reliquary were lost in Dublin Airport, Franciscan Conventual friar Father Xavier Goulet, who helped organise the tour, knew who to turn to. The poles were found about an hour before the start of the official reception of the relics in Fairview.

Father Goulet has no idea of numbers to expect during the tour, but has been told to expect large crowds.

Before a packed congregation in Fairview, Archbishop Lazzarotto speaks about the brief life of the medieval saint who was born in Portugal and died in Pauda. He observes how,

Anthony became the quintessential evangelising saint.

Devotees queue to venerate the relics which will be on view at Saint Anthony's Church, Clontarf, the Poor Clares in Ballsbridge, at Graiguecullen in Carlow, the Franciscan Friary in Church Street, Dublin and at Dublin’s Merchants Quay after which they return to Fairview on 12 and 13 June. The relics will go back to Italy in time for the Saint Anthony's annual feast on 15 June.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 June 2003. The reporter is Joe Little.