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Lose Something? Ask St. Anthony for Help!

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Lose Something? Ask St. Anthony for Help!

On June 13th, we celebrate the feast of one of the most beloved of Franciscan saints, St. Anthony of Padua. You probably know him as the saint to turn to when you’ve misplaced your keys or your wallet, and you may even have recognized that there are other things worth finding, too—lost friendships, lost faith, lost people.

But how did Anthony become the guide to that which has been lost?

The story has changed slightly over time with the retelling, but its essence is that a novice monk in St. Anthony’s order grew tired of the religious life, and decided to leave. When he ran off, he also stole something—Anthony’s psalter. This might not sound like much, but aside from its own intrinsic value, the psalter contained all of Anthony’s notes for his novices (a possible passive-aggressive motive for its theft!). And so Anthony prayed for its speedy return to him.

God answered Anthony’s prayers: the novice not only came back to return the stolen psalter, he also rejoined the Franciscan order! So two precious “things” were brought back: the book, and the young man himself.

Anthony’s psalter is now held in the Franciscan Friary in Bologna, Italy.


Julian of Speyer wrote a beautiful hymn about Anthony shortly after he was named a saint:

The sea obeys and fetters break
And lifeless limbs thou dust restore
While treasure lost are found again
When young or old thine aid implore.

So neither the forces of nature nor shackles will hinder anyone’s prayers to St. Anthony for a lost object or loved one!

As people began praying to St. Anthony, and their prayers were answered, they often made a donation to help the poor in gratitude for the recovery of their lost object, person, or faith. This came in the thirteenth century to be known as “St. Anthony Bread.”

The Litany of the Lost reminds us that it’s not just about those misplaced keys or wallet:

Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For those of us who have lost...
Our health, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our peace of mind, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our housing, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our financial security, St. Anthony, pray for us.
A loved one, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our dreams, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our talents, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our initial zeal, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our sobriety, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our faith, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our self-respect, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our perspective, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our innocence, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our independence,
Peace within our families,
Civil peace, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our trust in others, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our virtue, St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our home, St. Anthony, pray for us.
(Add your own particular loss) St. Anthony, pray for us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray.
All-loving God, you have given us St. Anthony, the patron of the lost, as an intercessor for those in need of your mercy. Listen to his voice as he calls out to you on our behalf, and grant those things which will help us grow in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord: Amen.

 

 

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