St. Anthony, He Me Find . . .

13 Jun

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, one of the most beloved saints in the Church. This 13th-century disciple of St. Francis of Assisi was known for his marvelous teaching and preaching–so much so that he has been honored with the title “doctor of the Church.”

He is also known as a wonder-worker, as many miracles over the centuries have been attributed to his intercession. In fact, most people now think of him primarily as the “finder of lost articles,” as countless people seek his heavenly assistance. As the prayer goes, “Tony, Tony, turn around. Something’s lost and must be found.”

I once had a friend who would jokingly pray, “St. Anthony, help me find a parking place . . . never mind, there’s one.”

I have a St. Anthony story from earlier this year that I would like to share.

My family spent this past Easter with my daughter and her young family out in Wamego, Kansas. After a wonderful brunch, most of the family went to a local park so that the kids could play for about an hour. When we got back to my daughter’s place, my son-in-law discovered that he had lost the one and only key to his family’s car. He had it with him when we walked to the park, but now it was gone.

He and I went back to the large park and looked, but we could not find the key. While we were there, I said a prayer to Our Lord and to St. Anthony, asking for “something spectacular” on Easter to show forth the Lord’s glory.

On the way home, I told my son-in-law not to worry, that St. Anthony would come through in about fifteen minutes or so.

When we got back to the apartment, I picked up two of my daughters and my six-year-old son, and we drove in my car back to the park. As my daughters scoured the park, my son and I drove around the perimeter of the park. I wish I could say it was a Jericho thing (see Joshua 6), but really it was to hear what happened in the Royals game.

I stopped the car and told my six-year-old to help look. He asked where he should look, and I told just to look where the others were looking. Almost immediately after getting out of the car, he walked up to a tree and grabbed a key that was hanging there. He held it up and asked, “Is this it?” Of course it was. St. Anthony’s prayers once again saved the day!

Let’s now join our prayers with those of the universal Church:

Almighty God,
you have given St. Anthony to your people
as an outstanding preacher
and a ready helper in time of need.
With his assistance may we follow the Gospel of Christ
and know the help of your grace in every difficulty.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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