One of the most beloved saints of the Catholic church, Saint Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan friar who lived during the lifetime of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is worldwide famous as the patron saint of lost things, and we are discovering the reason why we invoke his help to find what has been lost or stolen.
St. Anthony of Padua’s story
Born Fernando Martins de Bulhões (15 August 1195 – 13 June 1231), St. Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in Padua, the city where he spent most of his life. Noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history (only 11 months after his death).
Why do we pray St. Anthony to find lost things
We’ve already talked about St. Anthony’s biography, which is fascinating and full of significant events. The reason for invoking St. Anthony’s help in finding lost or stolen things dates back to an incident in his own life. The story goes that Anthony had a book of psalms that was very important to him. One day, a novice in St. Anthony’s Franciscan Order who had grown tired of the religious life, decided to depart the community. Yet, before leaving, the young man stole Anthony’s psalter. As soon as he realized his psalter was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned to him. His prayers moved the novice to return the psalter to Anthony and to return to the Order too. St. Anthony’s prayers were helpful in finding not only a lost item but to find the novice’s lost faith too. In years, this story has been changed and altered, but the core seems to be true and has stayed the same. Anthony’s psalter is now held in the Franciscan Friary in Bologna, Italy.
Shortly after St. Anthony’s death, people began praying to him to find their lost articles.
How can we pray St. Anthony to find lost things
Help me find
Glorious Saint Anthony, you have exercised the divine power to find what was lost. Help me to recover the grace of God, and make me zealous in the service of God and in the practice of living the virtues. Let me find what I have lost, thus showing me the presence of your goodness.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)
Let us pray
Anthony, glorious servant of God, famous for your merits and powerful miracles, help us to find what was lost. Give us your help in times of temptation and enlighten our minds in searching the will of God. Help us to find again the life of grace, which our sin destroyed, and lead us to the possession of the glory promised us by the Savior. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, may the votive commemoration of blessed Anthony, your confessor, be a source of joy to your Church, that she may always be fortified with spiritual assistance, and deserve to enjoy eternal rewards. Through Christ our Lord.Read Novena to Anthony of Padua: 9 Facts About the Portuguese Saint →