Monday, June 13, 2011
June 13 -- Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony is the patron of lost objects. The folk practice is to enlist his help in finding something; once it is found, one publishes a testament to the power of his patronage.
The patronage goes back to an event that happened after his death. His prayer book had been kept as a sacred relic, but then it disappeared. People prayed for its recovery, and sure enough, a novice found it. Miracle? Not really. Later, he admitted that he had borrowed the book, and that a vision of a very angry Saint Anthony had ordered him to return it.
Note that in the depiction above, he seems very fond of the prayer book.
Based on this one incident in which St. Anthony may have intervened to ensure the return of his own property to his own shrine -- property which wasn't really lost so much as heisted -- he has a globe full of Catholics enlisting his help with every misplaced wallet and pair of eye glasses. Sounds like a raw deal to me. So here's my testament: before pestering the poor friar with requests, ask yourself a couple of questions.
1. Where did I last see this thing?
2. Is this the sort of thing a saint would be glad to help with?
Posted by Tom Major at 4:00 AM