“Mom! I can’t find my keys!”
“Pray to Saint Anthony!”
Many times, when we lose something, we are told to pray to Saint Anthony in order to recover the lost item. That is because Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost articles. Anthony of Padua is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints! He was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher. A popular image of Saint Anthony is of him holding the child Jesus. Sometimes he is holding a lily or a book. Some images show him holding all three.
Saint Anthony’s life was devoted to teaching in his Franciscan Order. He enjoyed teaching and is known to be one of the most passionate teachers in the Franciscan Church. He is known to have loved reading, and is also a theologian with a specialty on scripture. He was born into a rich family, but his life was ruled by the gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ. When he first entered the Franciscan Order, he was set out to preach to the Moors, but an illness prevented him from achieving that goal; therefore, he went to Italy where he spent most of his time praying. He was a monk who took great care in doing menial tasks, saying that all things mattered when serving God.
One of the reasons to why we invoke Saint Anthony’s help in finding lost or stolen items is traced back to his own life. Legend has it that Anthony had a book of psalms that he held very near and dear to his heart. This book was handwritten and had important notes he made when teaching his students in his Franciscan Order. This book was stolen, and Anthony prayed fervently for its return. After a few days, the book was returned to Anthony and is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna. Shortly after his death, people began to pray through Saint Anthony to find or recover lost or stolen articles. Many people claim that they recover the lost item, immediately claiming Saint Anthony always listens and sends our prayers to God.
Saint Anthony is referred to as a Doctor of the Church based on his knowledge of Scripture. He was canonized less than a year after his death because of the many miracles attributed to him. Saint Anthony died on June 13, 1231, hence being the feast day of the beloved saint. Saint Anthony, often called the miracle worker, has 56 miracles recorded for his canonization. Tuesday has become known as Saint Anthony’s day because that was the day of his funeral procession in Padua. Tuesday is also a day where many Catholics and Chaldeans fast from meat to honor Saint Anthony.