We often turn to St. Anthony of Padua when we’ve lost something—but why? Where did this well-known patronage originate?
It goes back to a time when St. Anthony himself lost something very precious.
A Franciscan who lived in the 13th century, St. Anthony was a particularly gifted teacher and preacher. He owned a psalter (a book of the Psalms) that was very dear to him. Before the invention of the printing press, books in general were precious since they had to be copied out by hand.
Additionally, St. Anthony had made many notes for his sermons and classes in the pages of his copy. It was invaluable to his work, and when it disappeared one day, he was grieved by its loss. He prayed fervently that it would be found.
Turns out, an unhappy novice had decided to leave the religious life and, when he had departed the monastery, had taken St. Anthony’s psalter with him! After the saint’s prayers, the novice not only returned the psalter, but also returned to the religious life. The actual psalter is said to be housed at a Franciscan friary in Bologna, Italy.
St. Anthony is now known both as the finder of lost items—and of lost souls! Be sure to invoke his aid if you have misplaced something, or if you have a friend or relative who needs some guidance back to the right path.
Remind yourself of this saint’s powerful intercession with our exclusive Personalized St. Anthony Prayer Tile from our popular “Junior Saints” collection. This tile features a delightful image of St. Anthony and the Christ Child along with a prayer for something lost and a personalized name. Perfect for kids’ decor—but you might want one for yourself, too! Available today at The Catholic Company!