Editor’s Note: The following post was written by Br. Brian Stacy, OFM Cap. in honor of the June 13 feast of St. Anthony of Padua.
“Tony, Tony, turn around! Something’s lost that must be found!” It’s probably one of the most widely known Catholic prayers alongside the Our Father and Hail Mary. St. Anthony of Padua’s reputation continues to grow as we, the Church, keep losing things and, through “Tony’s” intercession, finding them again and again.
The more popular the saint, the more the Church tends to rely on them for even the everyday, trivial matters of life. What made this Franciscan so popular anyway, and why are we asking for his prayers in helping locate lost items?
Legend has it that a book of Psalms belonging to St. Anthony, filled with his own notes and reflections, was stolen by a fellow friar upon leaving the order. Realizing that the precious (and expensive!) book was missing, St. Anthony implored the Lord to touch the heart of the thief and bring it back into his possession.
Not only was his prayer heard and the book returned, but the thief returned himself as well to his brothers and rejoined the order!
These prayers of St. Anthony come from a heart that relied completely and totally on God, a tongue that preached this divine dependence (and still on display and venerated in Padua, nonetheless!), and a courage that was able to “profess that truth in love” (Eph 4:7), no matter what the circumstance.
Anthony of Padua reminds us that when we “go into the world to proclaim the good news,” (Mk 16:15-20) we may feel uncomfortable and frightened in our work as true missionaries, but we’re never lost—God’s love knows right where to find us and gives us that help, support, and nourishment we need to give ourselves away in love.
Featured image found on flickr Creative Commons from user Jornal O Bom Católico.
Br. Brian Stacy, OFM Cap., is a solemnly professed Capuchin Franciscan of the Province of St. Augustine. He was recently ordained a deacon after completing the M.Div. program at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.