important investigation of St. Anthony's mortal remains was
conducted on 6 January 1981, on the occasion of the
750th anniversary of the Saint's death. Religious and scientific
commissions, both nominated by the Holy See, opened the tomb
and examined the contents.
the green marble tombstone had been removed, a large wooden
chest was found wrapped in cloth.
chest contained another smaller wooden chest, inside which
various items, wrapped in precious cloth and labelled, were
found in three compartments.They
included the skeleton, apart from the chin, the left
forearm and other minor bones, which for centuries had been
preserved in special reliquaries.
The other contents included St. Anthony's woollen habit;
a stone with the date of his death and another one with the
date of the recognition and transposition of 1263 and the
"massa corporis", his ashes.