St. Anthony of Padua – Patron Saint of Lost Things

St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most popular and beloved saints of the Catholic Church. He is most famous as the patron saint of lost things, but few know he is also a patron of  American Indians, boatmen, sailors,  butchers, cemetery workers and gravediggers,  amputees, poor people, barren women … His feast day is on June 13.

St. Anthony of Padua Biography

St. Anthony of Padua patron saint of lost thingsSt.  Anthony was born in 1195  into a reach family in Lisbon, Portugal as Fernando Martins de Bulhões. When was 15 years old he asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra. He learned theology and Latin and was responsible for the abbey’s hospitality. Later he got permission to leave the Abbey and joined Franciscan friars dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt. The order was situated in a small hermitage in a vicinity of Coimbra. There he changed his name to Anthony.

Later he got permission to leave the Abbey and joined Franciscan friars dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt. The order was situated in a small hermitage in a vicinity of Coimbra. There he changed his name to Anthony.

Anthony moved to Morocco to spread the Word of God, but because of the serious illness, he came back to Portugal to get well.

During the trip, the wind blew the ship off course and the crew arrived in Sicily, Italy.  From which they continued the journey to Tuscany.   After local friars examine his physical condition, Anthony was sent to the hermitage of San Paolo.  As he recovered, he invested his time to studying and praying.

In 1922, Dominican friars visited the Franciscans and there was a misunderstanding over which representative would give a homily. The head of the Franciscans finally decided and asked Anthony to preach on whatever the Holy Spirit told him to speak of.

The homily of  Anthony impressed both groups. The news of his eloquence reached also Francis of Assisi,  who found in  Anthony a new friend.

 St Anthony of Padua and St Francis of Assisi In 1224, Francis entrusted study activities to Anthony. He had a book of psalms. The book contains a lot of comments and notes to help when teaching students.  Can imagine the value of the book in a time when a printing was not yet invented.

One day, Anthony’s important book was stolen. When Anthony found out the book was missing, he prayed it would be found or returned to him. The thief (a novice who decided to leave the hermitage) returned the book and also returned to the Order. The book supposed to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna today.

In 1230, he moved to Padua in a monastery he helped establish and where he spent his remaining life.

Even though  Anthony occasionally taught at the universities in France, his first and the best role was a role of preacher.

His teaching of the Catholic Faith was simple and understandable. In 1946 he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII.

Saint Anthony of Padua died 36 years old in Padua, Italy. He was canonized one year afterward by Pope Gregory IX.  336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, but his tongue was totally incorrupt.

St.  Anthony is venerated all over the world as the Patron Saint for lost items. He is connected with many miracles involving lost things and lost people, and even lost faith.


A story about St. Anthony of Padua can hear in  short informational video:


Miracles of St. Anthony of Padua

Miracle of the Mule

St Anthony Miracles of the NuleOne day, a heretic said to Anthony that he would believe that Jesus  Christ was truly present in the consecrated host only if his mule bowed down to it.

They agreed that the attempt should take place in 3 days. The heretic starved his animal for the next 3 days. When the appointed time had arrived, Anthony stood off to one side with the Eucharist in his hands, while the heretic stood to the other side holding some animal feed for the mule to eat. The mule, ignoring its own hunger, went before the Holy Host and knelt down to adore the Blessed Sacrament.

When the appointed time had arrived, Anthony stood off to one side with the Eucharist in his hands, while the heretic stood to the other side holding some animal feed for the mule to eat. The mule, ignoring its own hunger, went before the Holy Host and knelt down to adore the Blessed Sacrament.

The mule, ignoring its own hunger, went before the Holy Host and knelt down to adore the Blessed Sacrament.

When the appointed time had arrived, Anthony stood off to one side with the Eucharist in his hands, while the heretic stood to the other side holding some animal feed for the mule to eat. The mule, ignoring its own hunger, went before the Holy Host and knelt down to adore the Blessed Sacrament.

Miracle of the Usurer

In the 13th-century money and trade economy developed fast. Together with trade and money, there was also a growth of unethical business practices. One of the examples is so-called usury (the lending of money at overpriced rates of interest). Usury and other exploitative business practices are condemned by st. Anthony and other friars.

Once Anthony preached at the funeral of a money lender. He explained to his listeners that they should not bury his body in the consecrated ground, for his soul was already suffering in the hell. He claimed that the money lender’s heart was no more in his body, but that the Gospel had been fulfilled, “For where your treasure is, there will be your heart (Lk 12,34, Mt 6,21; ).

They opened the side of the man and discovered that his heart was missing; They found it when they opened up his treasure chest.

Ezzelino da Romano

Saint Anthony of PaduaSt. Anthony always proclaimed the dignity of every person. He defended those who were powerless also when he stood before those who were known to be cruel tyrants.

The most famous story concerning his political courage is connecting with Ezzelino da Romano. Ezzelino belonged to the Ghibellines political party. Their opponents were the Guelphs.   Both parties were famous for their immoral, illegal, or harmful acts.  Ezzelino was considered by all to be a master of violation of trust.

Ezzelino was taking and holding some Guelphs as prisoners, threatening to kill them. Anthony was bravely stood before him and asked him to conversion.  After Anthony had left Ezzelino turned back to his old tricks and repented his ways.

This miracle was a  proved that the Gospel was alive and relevant to the men and women of his times.

Miracle of the Fish

Once, when St. Anthony of Padua try to preach the Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics in Rimini who would not listen to him, he got out and explained his message to the fish.  Suddenly there were thousands of fish lined-up, pushing their heads through the surface of the water as if they were want to listen to  Anthony’s speech.

When critics saw the fish begin to gather, they gathered to listen to Anthony.  Most of them converted and returned to the Church.

It is not sure that the story of the miracle of the fish is historic but presents what very often occurred when  St. Anthony preached;  Many hardened sinners were converted through the unselfish love and eloquent preach of Anthony.

The Baby Jesus

'Saint Anthony of Padua and the Christ Child' by Francisco GoyaCount Tiso had been one of the politicians without moral principles. After hearing Anthony preach, he had converted and had donated a piece of land to Franciscans upon which the hermitage at Camposampiero was built.

One night Count Tiso was passing by Anthony’s room when he was attracted by a strong light. He thought that it must be a fire, and so he rushed into the room. Here he saw Anthony in ecstasy holding the Baby Jesus in his arms. Anthony asked Tiso not to tell anyone about what he had seen.  Tiso respected Anthony’s wishes until after his death.

Prayer to St. Anthony – Patron Saint of Lost Things

There are many prayers to St. Anthony of Padua, patron of lost things and many others. My favorite prayer is:

St. Anthony prayer

The song Hymn to Saint Anthony of Padua, composed, sung and recorded by Franciscans can also listen and sing as a wonderful prayer:



 Devotion to St. Anthony of Padua

If you are a devotee of St. Anthony you probably ask him to help when you lost some of your items or lost your spiritual way. Besides personal prayer, over the centuries has manifested several devotions to Saint Anthony. The most known are:

  • Put a hand on Anthony’s tomb. This is a most characteristic gesture of confidence and trust that pilgrims carry out in the Basilica of St. Anthony.
  • The Thirteen-Day Novena.  This refers to the 13 days of preparation for the feast of St. Anthony, which takes place on June 13.

  • The Transit. A ritual that recalls the last moments of the St. Anthony’s life. Before his death, Anthony asked to be taken from Camposampiero to Padua. Every year on the eve of June 13, a representation of Anthony’s death is organized in the streets of Arcella.

  • Blessing of Objects in the Chapel of Blessings at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua.

  • A lily on Saint Anthony’s Tomb. For centuries pilgrims have been bringing a lily flower to the tomb of Saint Anthony here in Padua in June.

  •  Saint Anthony’s Bread. On his feast day in some churches with devotions to St. Anthony is a custom of blessing loaves of bread, which are then distributed among the people.

Symbols of St. Anthony

St. Anthony is traditionally portrayed as a young friar holding the Baby Jesus and/or a lily. He often appears with a book or with a bread.  Sometimes is seen holding a flame in his hand.

Let’s take a look at the meaning of these symbols:

  • The lily represents his purity and his struggle against the devil.
  • Baby Jesus in the memory of his vision at Camposampiero.
  • Young frier refers to his good,  pure and idealistic character.
  • Bread represents Anthony’s charity towards the poor.
  • The book symbolizes his knowledge, his preaching, and his teaching.
  • Flame in his hand emphasizes his love for God and humanity.

St. Anthony of Padua products

  • Books and media

Reading the biographies of saints is one way to straighten your faith. You can found several interesting and educative books and films about St. Anthony of Padua life online.

Here you can find reviews of my favorite book and movie about Saint Anthony life.

=====> Book and Movie Reviews<=====

 

  • Artwork

Pictures, statues, and figurines of St. Anthony of Padua can make nice decorative accents for your personal living space or office. Various form of  St. Anthony artwork will make great Baptism and Confirmation gifts. Especially if the child is baptized under the name of Anthony or confirmand’s name match the name of the famous saint of Padua.

I’ve reviewed a lot of pictures and statues of Saint Anthony. My top 3 items can see in the post:

=====>Pictures and Statues Reviews<======

 

  • Jewelry

Wearing St. Anthony medals and pendant is not only the sign of faith but above all a permanent reminder to our beloved saint.

If you are looking for Saint  Anthony rosary, pendant,  medal or bracelet I have reviewed tons of different jewelry online.  Find out my selection of best jewelry:

=====> My Selection of Best Jewelry <=====

 

Are there any other significant or interesting facts about St. Anthony- patron saint of lost things which have I missed? Please let us know in the commentary section.

 

 

 

2 Replies to “St. Anthony of Padua – Patron Saint of Lost Things”

  1. My Mother always preached to us every day. Casually , not big speeches; just matter of daily conversation. One of so many daily sayings was, The Lord helps those, that help themselves. So many times I have done myself good in tough times by taking action and making the best of a difficult situation. Another gem from my Mom , was to pray to St Anthony to help find something that was lost. To this day , when I can’t find something, I say a pray to St Anthony to help me find my keys or whatever. I want to honor my Mother right now by remembering her and thanking her for doing her best to bring us up right I wasn’t always such a perfect kid, but I know a lot of what my Mom taught me remains to this day. Thanks Mom. Love John.

    1. Hi!
      What beautiful words, John. I appreciate you expressed your gratitude to your Mom through my blog post. I recognize a deep meaning in your emotions. Let me expose 2 points.

      Firstly, I will »steal« the quote from Saint Mother Teresa: »Do small things with great love«. Simple daily prayer and conversations are small things but your Mother expressed them with great love to her children.

      Secondly, as we get older, we better understand parents love. As a father of 5, I realized that the main mission in my life is to bring Jesus in hearts of my children. Other things will be done by Him.

      I also pray to St. Anthony of Padua to help me find lost things (glasses are my weakest point) or free parking place. In my family, we adore this popular saint. Recently I learned more about him and I have to say he was really great man.I’m sure he helps us from the heaven when we ask him

      Igor
      God bless you

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