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Shrine of St. Anthony

While reading Annie’s recent entries on two large size shrines, I was reminded of a Saint Anthony shrine that I saw on my recent trip to Venice. This beautiful green shrine is in Cannaregio and I found it on my walk from a shop on Rio Tera della Maddalena to the church of Madonna dell’Orto.

This is what Annie wrote about this shrine last year, on a post titled "San Antonio shrine":

“This lovely green free-standing shrine is dedicated to San Antonio (St. Anthony), and it’s another very well-cared for shrine with a nice painting inside of the saint holding the Christ child. It’s in Cannaregio on the way to Madonna dell’ Orto and has a sign saying it was built in 1668. The vast majority of the shrines in Venice are dedicated to Mary, with St. Anthony a distant second. It makes sense that he’s the next most popular image since he’s a local saint who’s buried in his own church over in Padua.”



Decorative sign with the dates the shrine was built (1668) and restored: from 1818 to 1901, and from 1979 and 1991 under the sponsorship of the Società Remo d'Oro (Golden Oar Society).



Here are three shrines dedicated to St. Anthony who, as Annie wrote, is the second most popular shrine image in Venice. He is the patron of sailors, travelers and fishermen and perhaps this is the reason why there are so many shrines dedicated to him. He's also the patron saint of lost and stolen articles.

I don’t recall the exact location of the first two shrines, but the lovely wooden one with the lilies I believe is found right in front of a bridge, on the way from the train station to my apartment in Cannaregio.




Comments (19)

What a gorgeous shrine. Sadly I have never made a point of looking for these. I shall have to do something about that!

Your photos are gorgeous! That big green shrine is one of the most beautiful in Venice, for sure. I ran into it on my second trip to Venice and it's the one that got me obsessed with street shrines. I love it.

One thing I've noticed is that in many (but not all) of the San Antonio images, the baby is touching his face. It's so sweet but I don't know what it means (is it connected to his story somehow). When I was at Il Santo in Padua, I bought a little framed St Anthony holy card that looks very similar to the painting in the big green shrine.

Great post! Takes me to Venice on this rainy afternoon!

Jerry, I had noticed shrines before in my travels but never paid a lot of attention to them, that is until I started reading Annie’s blog.

Annie, I had observed the baby's hand touching St. Anthony’s face and the presence of lilies in his images but don’t know what they represent either. I’ll ask a friend of mine who might know this kind of stuff.

I’m enjoying reading about Castello’s big shrines. Interesting to see the different styles and colors. I’ve been wondering, have you ever seen free standing shrines in other cities/towns in Italy?

Great photos, Maria. My goodness, between you and Annie posting about Venice's shrines, I'll have to start planning my Venice trip.
I barely remember seeing this shrine while in Venice last year.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Maria, these shrines are beautiful. And the first one is really amazing. I enjoyed learning about St. Anthony and why he is important. For my recent trip, reading Annie's terrific article on the churches inspired me to visit them and now reading Annie's recent entries and looking at your photos are going to inspire me to pay attention for these beautiful shrines more. I would definitely want to look for this green one because it is beautiful.

Thanks for sharing Maria! Have a great Friday and weekend.

Maria, thanks for checking with your friend. I'm curious about the hand and the lilies.

I haven't seen free standing shrines in other parts of Italy, but I haven't been anywhere else but Venice since I got interested in shrines.

But I think there are some. Leslie of Kaleidoscope turned me onto a great book: "Shrines: Images of Italian Worship" by Frances Mayes that has photos from all over Italy, and there are a few other free standing ones in that book.

Are there lots of shrines in Sicily? There are a few pictured in that book. I got a comment on my blog from a woman who has thousands of photos of the Shrines of Rome but they are not posted on the web yet.

About your other three San Antonio shrines, I checked my notes. The first one is close to the Miracoli church, the second is on the side of the little oratory in Campo Sant' Angelo in San Marco, and the third IS by a bridge in Cannaregio. It's interesting because there are no flowers at all in my photo of that wooden one - you were lucky to get it with all those lilies!

Happy Friday!

Candi, have you seen the thread on a GTG in Venice in October 2010? Maybe you can plan a trip to coincide with this GTG. http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/831608785/m/9471082444

Kathy, I think we all have been inspired by Annie's fabulous blog to pay more attention when coming across these beautiful shrines. On my last trip, I saw so many and for the first time I took my time to study them a bit and appreciate the labor and love it took to place them, and the devotion it takes to keep them.

Annie, I checked the book Leslie recommended after reading about it on your blogpost about this shrine. I have it on my wish list. BTW, on your last trip, did you see the shrine in the water that a commenter on that post had photographed? I'd love to see that shrine!

I don't recall seeing many shrines in Sicily but I wasn't really looking for them either. I have only one photo of a shrine in my family's neighborhood and I posted the photo on the blog a while back. I hope the woman with the photos of the shrines in Rome puts them online. I think I may have a couple of photos of Roman shrines. I'll have to check.

Thanks for posting the location of the two other S. Antonio shrines. I meant to ask you for their location.

Maria, are you going to Venice that October?
I am kind of hoping to get back before that, maybe the May of 2010. But October is a possibility too. I'll have to see what life brings for us.

I think I am going to have to be more observant also. Beautiful photos! Did you know there is a huge Feast of Saint Anthony in Boston every year? It was started by a group of men from Montefalcione (where my great-grandfather is from) in the early 1900's. Here's the link: http://www.stanthonysfeast.com/historybyAnthonyAbbruzzi.html

Candi, I don't know if I'm going on 10/10. I can't plan that far ahead but I'd love to be there. I want to return to Venice this year but it doesn't look very promising.

May in Venice must be lovely.

Girasoli, thanks for the link. I enjoyed reading about the origins of the feast in Boston and how it evolved through the decades. Did you go to the festivities when you lived in Boston?

No, I had that shrine in the water on my list but ran out of time. Plus it's in the lagoon in between Venice and the mainland and with all the crappy weather I had in December, it probably would have been hard to see and/or photograph anyway. I really want to see it someday though.

Well, for our reading and visual pleasure, I hope the weather cooperates and you get to see it on your next visit.

Have you ever been in Venice for the Redentore festivities? I've been reading about it and would love to be there in July.

My sister used to always go. I have not been but would love to go back one day to attend.


Maria, what an interesting (and very large) shrine! The green is striking, and I love the idea of its restoration being sponsored by the "Golden Oar Society!"

I'm very much looking forward to the Venice 2010 GTG -- I love Venice, I'll be turning 50 in December 2010, so it seems I have lots of good reasons to go!

If you and Annie are able to be there as well, maybe you can lead a ST Tour of Shrines!

Sandra, I think that celebrating the big 5-0 in Venice is a brilliant idea. I'd love to be there and join in the fun. About the ST Tour of Shrines, I'm sure you meant to say that Annie could lead it. She's the shrine guru!

LOL at "shrine guru." The big challenge would be finding some of them again!

No I haven't been for Redentore and while I'd love to see that festa, I have no desire to go to Venice in high season (too hot, too humid, way too crowded with too many cruise ships and mosquitoes!). The few people I've talked to who hated Venice were there in high season, so I've pretty much decided never to go in the summer.

Annie, I've never been to Italy in the summer and want to remedy that soon. Don't want to go inland, but stay somewhere in or near the coast.

I'd love to go to Liguria but I know it would be extremely crowded with locals and visitors plus the prices skyrocket at that time. Venice was a possibility because I saw some good rates on a couple of apartments. My interest is to be there for Redentore and to visit as many of the islands as I can. Don't know if I can pull this off. I just mentioned it to my husband on Saturday and he wasn't too thrilled. We’re spending Christmas and New Years in Puerto Rico so going to Venice in the fall or winter is out for this year.

Wow what a gorgeous shrine! Thanks for sharing! Really nice details.

Andrew from Slow Talk just left a cool link in the comments on my blog. Links to a site that explains the baby and the lilies with San Antonio:


gotta love the Internet!:)

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