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San Antonio in Spain

The Day of Saint Anthony of Padua (Romería de San Antonio) commemorates St Anthony's death on June 13, 1231. It is a public holiday in the city of Ceuta on June 13. This saint was venerated in Ceuta, which was a Portuguese colony in 1415.

Is San Antonio a Public Holiday?

San Antonio is a public holiday in Ceuta, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

A statue of St Anthony with child Jesus.

©iStockphoto.com/Lakelady

What Do People Do?

Many Christians attend special church services to celebrate the life of St Anthony of Padua. His statue is then taken is paraded through the streets of Ceuta. Many people follow in a parade behind it. Some also hold communal meals later in the day. These often feature wine and paella (meat, fish and shellfish with rice and saffron) cooked in pans that are about four meters (12 feet) in diameter.

Many people, particularly in France, Portugal, Spain and Italy, believe that Saint Anthony of Padua will help them find a romantic partner or spouse. For this reason, single young people may pray at his altar or spend some time sitting on the steps of his altar in Ceuta on June 13.

Public Life

June 13 is a public holiday in the city of Ceuta. Public life is generally quiet and many businesses and other organizations are closed. Many stores are closed but some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services may run to a reduced schedule. The Day of Saint Anthony of Padua is not a public holiday in the rest of Spain on June 13.

Background

St Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal, on August 15, 1195 CE. He joined the Augustinian Abbey of St Vincent, near Lisbon and later played an important role in this monastery. He joined a Franciscan order in 1220 CE and later travelled to France, Italy and Portugal.

He died on June 13, 1231 CE, and was canonized on May 30, 1232 CE. He is venerated as St Anthony of Padua and St Anthony of Lisbon. The Day of Saint Anthony of Padua is also a municipal holiday in Lisbon, Portugal, where it is marked by parades and is a popular date for marriage ceremonies.

Symbols

Images and artwork of St Anthony of Padua often depict him with an infant Jesus in his arms, a lily, a book and bread. There is a hermitage dedicated to him in Ceuta. Inside is a statue depicting him as a Franciscan monk holding an infant Jesus. The area at his feet is often decorated with fresh, white lilies.

San Antonio Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015SatJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2016MonJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2017TueJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2018WedJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2019ThuJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2020SatJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2021SunJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2022MonJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2023TueJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2024ThuJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta
2025FriJun 13San AntonioLocal holidayCeuta

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