Emailing petitions to St. Anthony

Is an emailed petition to a saint the same as one you hand-write and lay at the shrine of the saint? That’s the question that comes to mind when I read that Catholic Croats are sending emails to be taken to the shrine of St. Anthony of Padua.

E-mails can be sent to Veritas, a religious magazine, whose Web site has a link called “Dear St. Anthony”, which contains a prayer form for worshippers to fill in, the Jutarnji List newspaper said on Wednesday.

Veritas editor, Father Ivan Bradaric, then collects and takes them to the Italian city of Padua, where St. Anthony, a 13th century Franciscan, was buried. His remains are still venerated in a local basilica, a famous pilgrimage site.

I don’t see why not. It’s not like they’re going out into the ether. They are being turned into a permanent format for delivery to the shrine, which I think is important. It is the intent of the prayer that matters, but for the sake of the faithful making them, I think the physical form matters.

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Domenico Bettinelli, Jr., is a father of five and husband, a Roman Catholic, born in Boston, educated at Franciscan University of Steubenville, who has worked in Catholic media--print, broadcast, and online--since the mid-90s. Find out all about Dom on his About Me page.