Rome (AsiaNews) The Saint Anthony's International Award was given in the Witness category to AsiaNews editor Fr Bernardo Cervellera from PIME in recognition of his missionary work and that of his news agency, founded in 1986, which focuses on religious, social and political issues of concern to this great continent.
"If the task of the Church is to reach and embrace the whole world and announce salvation, i.e. peace, justice and respect for human rights," says the official motivation, "Father Cervellera's work is like a lighthouse of witness that illuminates the path of future missions that await the interest and the contribution of all Christians."
Established in 1998 by the friars of the Basilica of the Saint to celebrate the first hundred years of the Messenger of Saint Anthony, a magazine published in eight languages with a circulation of a million copies, the biennial 'Saint Anthony's International award' is, this year, in its fifth edition.
For the first time, the award is also under the patronage of the Office of the Presidency of the Italian Republic.
The award has four categories: witness, solidarity, cinema and television. In the first two the prize is awarded by a jury made up of Messenger of Saint Anthony friars and chaired by Fr Marco Tasca, minister of the Padua province for the Friars Minor Conventual. The prizes for cinema and television are decided by a jury of film experts and critics.
A committee of honour under Card Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, has been set up to host the press conference that will officially announce the winners in San Calisto Palace in Trastevere (Rome), the Council's headquarters, on June 21.
The committee also includes Card Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Fr Joachim Giermek, minister general of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual; Fausto Bertinotti and Franco Marini, respectively speakers of the Italian House of Deputies and Senate; Padua Mayor Flavio Zanonato, Italian movie director Pupi Avati; writer and journalist Igor Man; and Andrea Riccardi, chairman of the Sant'Egidio community.
The award ceremony will take place on the evening of Friday, June 23. For the first time, it will take place on a platform in the open in Padua's Piazza del Santo (Saint Anthony's Square).