Published on 18 December 2023

“May the Lord smile on you” in this New Year

Video-wishes from Father Giancarlo Zamengo on behalf of the friars of the Basilica



What is the wish I have for you from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua as we begin this New Year?

I find it in the words of the liturgy, "May the Lord smile on you."

It is with this certainty in our hearts that we want to face this difficult, complicated time.

The hopes for peace we bore in our hearts have been disappointed. Indeed, during 2023, new conflicts flared up. New critical issues emerged, like increased poverty for so many people, families and children, as well as violence against women. Not far from Padua we experienced the drama of Giulia Cecchettin, a young woman killed by her former boyfriend. Tragedies like these make us aware that they can happen within our own homes and families.

How often do we ask ourselves: do I know how to respond rightly to the needs of my wife, my husband, my children? What is really going on in the hearts of the people we love?

Then let us commit ourselves to start anew in the Lord. Let’s start from the certainty that His smile accompanies us and gives us the strength we need to give love, to care for one another, and to not allow ourselves to be caught in resignation and discouragement.

In 2024 we will remember how eight hundred years ago, on September 14, 1224, on the mountain of La Verna Saint Francis received the gift of the stigmata. In that year he also composed the Canticle of the Creatures.

There is no better example for us than these two episodes to show us how to go beyond the sufferings of the present moment, of every difficulty, and to grasp the love of God manifested in us and in everything around us: in humans, animals, plants, water, air, sun, moon  – everything!

I therefore wish that you may keep joy in your heart so that you may always praise and thank the Lord and your brothers and sisters!

This is my wish for a year of peace and health from the Basilica of St. Anthony.


Fr. Giancarlo Zamengo, General Director of the Messenger of Saint Anthony, on behalf of the friars of the Basilica