Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Lost Watch

This is a story of a lost watch which is full-blown Anthony. You start to notice some of the characteristics 1) the finds which often do come after a period of waiting 2) the special power of sites dedicated to the saint--holy places where that which is lost can be found, and 3)the improbable nature of so many of the finds. Some theologians would talk of a "phenomenology of the workings of St. Anthony," which in our more normal language simply means his particular ways of working. Not that the saint is limited to any one method, but there are identifiable signs, little intimations so often found. If you have experienced anything like it, please send along your story. Watching the saints work is a way of seeing something of the divine mystery after all. In the middle of what seems curious but also ordinary, there is a hidden awe and wonder, and a tender invitation to go more deeply into the mystery always. Here's the account: Some years ago I lost my watch. Late one night, a week later I finally prayed to Saint Anthony for help to find it. The next morning we drove to the parish of Saint Anthony of Padua, which was some miles from our home and attended Mass there. After Mass I stayed behind a little and my husband went back to the car park to wait for me. It has been raining for a week and the grass was long, wet and muddy. My husband saw something shining in the grass and out of curiosity he bent down and scooped up a handful of mud, and to his astonishment my watch was there in the handful of mud. What was the explanation for this? We had attended a Mass at that church the previous week....
Thank you to 'Help from Heaven Book' for this story

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Christmas Tree Light

A man was decorating a very tall Christmas tree which was covered all over with decorations. As he was putting up electric colored light globes, one of them slipped from his hand. It was only a very small globe. He spent ages searching for it without success. He complained to his wife that the other lights would not work because the missing globe was essential to the whole scheme of things. She told him to “wait just a minute” while she prayed to Saint Anthony. He then retorted “Don’t you think that Saint Anthony has much better things to do than to worry about the light globe?” His wife then said the following prayer: “Saint Anthony, please show him where it is.” Immediately he called out “Hey, what do you know, here it is, in the middle of the Christmas tree.” No petition is too great or too trivial to ask Saint Anthony for.
Thank you to 'Help from Heaven Book' for this story

Friday, June 24, 2011

Novena to St. Anthony for the Recovery of Lost Things

O blessed St. Anthony! the grace of God has made you a powerful advocate in all necessities and the patron for the restoration of things lost or stolen; to you we turn to-day with childlike love and heartfelt confidence. Oh, how many thousands you have miraculously aided in the recovery of lost things!
You have been the counselor of the erring, the healer of the sick, the raiser of the dead, the deliverer of the captive, the comforter of the afflicted: to you do we turn, O blessed St. Anthony! Help us in our present affliction. We recommend what we have lost to your care, in the secure hope that you will find it for us, if it be to the greater glory of God and to the benefit of our souls.
Obtain also for us an active faith, peace of mind, disinterest in the vain pleasures of the world, and an ardent desire for the imperishable goods of eternity. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be...

Have prayers answered through the intersession of Saint Anthony that you would like to share on our blog? Click here to email them to us to post - your stories can inspire others to turn to God in need, with the help of Good St. Anthony~

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Free Lemons And A Key For St. Anthony

They’re retired and they don’t have a lot of money, and sometimes not a lot of patience. But they have St. Anthony working for them. They’re my parents. They were over to pick a few free lemons from a tree in my backyard the other day and just when they were about to leave my father, who walks with great difficulty, realized he didn’t have the car key. We spent a lot of time looking for the key in the tall grass around the lemon tree. Nothing. We retraced his steps, my mother frisked him, he checked his pockets. Nothing. We called their auto repair shop and even a locksmith. It turned out to be one of those keys with a microchip in it--and would have cost up to a $1,000 to replace. The locksmith was apologetic but he suggested to look everywhere and call if all else failed. Meanwhile we got a tow truck to get my parents home and I kept looking, thinking of how the little visit for lemons was going to be very expensive for them. And I started praying to St. Anthony. I wasn’t finding anything but pebbles and was discouraged until the phone rang. After my parents got home, my father changed clothes and as my mother was shaking out his pants, the key fell from the pant cuff. How it snuck in there, how it stayed there through so much movement and jostling, I don’t know. But the saint probably does.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If St. Anthony had a cat...

There’s a cat named Dusty in San Mateo, California who somehow must have St. Anthony smiling beatifically. Perhaps the saint, who now partakes of heavenly Wisdom can make some sense of the story--especially since St. Anthony, as a Franciscan, could well have inherited St. Francis’ deep appreciation for animals as part of God’s holy creation. It turns out that Dusty is part of an ongoing lost object program. He has stolen over 600 items from neighbors--and in the process has animal experts scratching their heads. Those experts talk about “mixed-up neurotransmitters” but they don’t really know what is going on with Dusty. The thefts happen at night typically and started about four years ago--little things like gloves, then towels and bathing suits, and just about anything the cat can drag back home. His owners dutifully wash Dusty’s finds and try to get things back to the rightful owner, something St. Anthony would appreciate. And as it turns out, whenever the neighbors lose something they can turn to St. Anthony--and also go over to Dusty’s house. It’s not the kind of St. Anthony story that we usually hear, but there’s a saintly twinkle in it--after all the objects do get returned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Prayer of Consecration to St. Anthony

Dear Saint Anthony, glorious servant and blessed friend of God! I salute you in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Who, in the form of a sweet little child, you had the privilege of holding in your arms. I rejoice in your joy; I glory in your honor; I offer you my heartfelt congratulations upon the unspeakable bliss of heaven which is now your reward, and I thank God with all my heart for the graces and privileges with which He has distinguished you above so many other saints. O Saint Anthony, I consecrate myself to you. I choose you to be my patron, my advocate, my powerful intercessor at the court of Heaven, and I resolve to honor you always. I beseech you, therefore, receive me as your client, protect me, defend me, help me in all the necessities of life, and assist me in the hour of my death, that my soul may be saved, and that with you I may glorify God forever. Amen.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

St. Anthony--the one connection she kept

Our Lord Himself made it clear that all of us--and in an exemplary way the saints--are meant to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We in the Gospel how four men carried a paralytic to our Lord, lowered him through the roof to the feet of Christ, and the Lord said to them, because of your (plural in the original) faith, his sins are forgiven. St. Anthony is one of those saints who are particularly good at holding together threads of faith when it seems, on the surface, to have been torn away at the root. Why this is, doesn’t matter. It is simply part of God’s goodness. St. Anthony has long been known not only as a special Patron for those who have lost things, but also as the Patron of Lost Souls. We can never know how much God can do with apparently lost people--often working through saints like Anthony. And so, one woman writes of an aunt whose life was hard enough to rip away the normal tethers of faith--but who held onto St. Anthony. It is a touching story, but also should be the occasion for us to add our prayers for the soul of her aunt: Prayer is never wasted: Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her:

“I had an Aunt, born in 1915, who had a miserable and brutal home life, aside from desperate poverty. She was badly treated at a Catholic school by bullying classmates and a teacher who found her difficult to like because of her bitterness and shabby clothes, and one day insulted her so that she walked out of her high school, and the Church as well, and never came back. She had hard words for the Church and the "hypocritical people" in it. However though she never attended Mass the rest of her life she had a fondness for St. Anthony, and often asked him to find or obtain things for her. She was a woman who never smiled and was always suspicious. When it came time for her to die in 2005, in the hospital she expressed no desire for a chaplain, or to be reconciled to the Church... However I (her niece) prayed silently a lot by her bedside and sneaked a green scapular under her mattress. The night before she died she was in coma, so I slipped a brown scapular about her neck (I knew that as a school girl she must have been enrolled) and said all 20 mysteries of the rosary for her, and then the chaplet of Divine Mercy before I went home after midnight. She was found dead next morning with the loveliest sweet smile on her face--and I knew in my heart that she was OK with God. The one connection she had kept all her life long was a sincere devotion to St Anthony, and I know he engineered things so that I could be near her at the end "to have faith for her", and say prayers for her that she was unable to say for herself."

What the writer describes can be a common thing -- a breakdown in faith, a long wandering through life, but nevertheless a thread, who in this case was Anthony. And God can work with threads.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When So Many Have Lost So Much

When so many have lost so much... The widely publicized theft of the relic of St. Anthony from a church named for him in Southern California continues to affect people in profound ways. The saints so often experienced in their lives how seamlessly God can bring good out of evil, how we have all lost something precious and how much we need divine work if it is to be found again: Here is what one woman wrote: “Thank you for the blog and prayers to St. Anthony. I pray to a group of saints everyday, and it occurred to me recently that, except for St. Joseph and St. Padre Pio, they are all female. I was wondering which male saint, if any, I should add to my regular prayer requests for intercession. Reading your blog and the St. Anthony prayer made me realize that I should be praying to St. Anthony for something I lost 30 years ago and have only recently begun to realize is missing. As we know, God can take any thing--good or evil--and turn it to His purposes, even something as unimaginable as the theft of a sacred relic. The theft is shining new light on St. Anthony and his intercession at a time when so many have lost so much, including faith. God Bless and keep up the good work. Peggy

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Novena And A Passport

St. Anthony was a traveler as were so many of the saints. Although profoundly associated with Padua in Italy, he was born in Portugal (known as Lusitania in the Latin of the Catholic Church). That meant dealing with changes, transition, and, of course, loss. For modern travelers, all that is still the case. But some losses can threaten the experience itself. Hence the intervention of a holy fellow traveler: “Hi. My name is Gregory and I'm currently based in India. It was in the month of October 2008 while I was traveling by bus from my work place to home in Dubai, UAE that I lost my passport which was kept in my trousers pocket. I searched frantically high and low at all the places I walked along on the way to the bus stop. I was worried for about two weeks and did not inform my wife as she would get very upset...I was equally tense as we were about to cancel our employment visas as my wife, daughter and myself had decided to come down and settle in India by the last week of December 2008. Then someone advised me to recite St. Anthony's Novena for 9 days starting from Tuesday. I did so and guess what, after the 9 days I visited the Police Station and to my utter surprise I found my Passport with the Police Officer at the Police Station.
I truly consider St. Anthony to be a very powerful saint as he is very good in helping you find things which you have lost. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share this experience of mine with you.” Gregory had recourse to a Novena, which is an ancient form of prayer over nine days. The original Novena was that of the disciples of the Jesus Christ who waited and prayed with his Mother, Mary, for nine days, following the Lord’s Ascension. That Novena was followed by the overwhelming spiritual explosion of Pentecost--an event which turned those disciples into travelers, carriers of the faith and presence of Christ into the world. Most often today, a Novena involves a prayer that is repeated over nine days for a specific intention. Some Novenas follow formulas, others are quite spontaneous. Regardless, a Novena is a way of praying that goes back to Mary, the Apostles and the other earliest followers of the Lord--and can help all of us, who are lost travelers at times, find our way.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A faint sparkle

A faint sparkle... Rings are important to people because of what they represent--commitment, faithfulness, shared struggles, a sacrament shared. In that sense, they can be very holy things--and objects of holy intervention. Ed and Jean K. from North Carolina sent in a touching story about a lost ring and St. Anthony--about seeing “a faint sparkle.” Ed writes: “My wife caught her ring on the sofa cover and discovered the 3/4 carat diamond was missing from the setting. Naturally she got a little upset and looked at me for an answer. I asked how long had it been missing and she wasn't sure, but remembered hitting her hand on a doorway a few days ago. Well that sure wasn't much to go on and I suggested she pray to Saint Anthony while I searched with a flashlight. I was only doing this for her sake because there was little hope of finding something so small. So I looked close to all the doors in the house knowing it was hopeless. But I decided to look by the door going out of the garage, nothing there either. Then I shined the flashlite behind the freezer by the door where there was plenty of dust and leaves and there was a faint sparkle. I bent over and saw the stone and went for my wife to see it before touching it. So once more Saint Anthony came through.” A faint sparkle--not a bad way of describing Anthony’s little way into the soul.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

About the "loss" of the relic...

This blog was launched on June 13, the feast of our patron, St. Anthony. That same day, an event drew widespread attention to the saint. It turns out a 780-year old relic of St. Anthony was stolen from a church bearing his name in Southern California. According to reports, “the relic is housed in a 16-inch reliquary case with angel-shaped handles made of gold and silver on either side.” The parish priest called the relic invaluable. At the same time, wire service reports predictably enough evoked the supposed irony: A relic of a saint known for helping find that which is lost is now lost itself. It is indeed something painful for the church, the parishioners and really all of us who love the saint. But let's be clear: St. Anthony is not "lost." And the disappearance of the relic--almost certainly temporary--may well be just another part of the saint's mysterious work. Whoever took the object needs prayer and the help of this saint of the lost. And it sets up a situation for another one of his little miracles--and for recognizing further who this saint is and what special corner of God's Kingdom he inhabits. One of our esteemed fellow bloggers, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, ran a piece on the disappearance, and immediately started collecting the miracle reports. One person reported that St. Anthony Church in Long Beach is his "home church," where he became a Catholic in 1986. He adds that just the other day, his daughter dropped her Miraculous Medal at Disneyland, only to have it "reappear" at her feet at a restaurant a few hours later--this, after his wife had been praying continuously to St. Anthony. Another mentions that it was at St. Anthony Parish in Calgary, Canada where "I found my Catholic faith after it was lost for over a decade." It's not just a theft then. Something else is afoot. Because this saint--like all of God's saints--has a knack for facilitating great good out of distress. Pray, then, if you would, for the return of the relic--and that whatever deep loss lies behind the theft, might lead to some rediscovery that is deeper still.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Pray To Saint Anthony For His Help

I will misplace something - work or home - and before I get totally frustrated, I will say a prayer to St. Anthony and then go on with whatever I was doing . . . my mind calms and I can feel a prompting to go retrace my comings and goings and then I find whatever I was looking for. It is not always this timely, but I do find what I was looking for. I also know that once I say the prayer to Saint Anthony, he will eventually help me find whatever I have lost or misplaced. I also tell co-workers and friends to pray to him when they have lost something. I don't let frustration in not finding something reach the point of anger - I pray to Saint Anthony for his help and then let it go.

My prayer: Saint Anthony, I need to ask for your help in finding _______. I know I can trust in you to help me in this search. I give up my frustration, so that you can guide me to where it can be found. Thank you Saint Anthony for your help with this.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prayer to St. Anthony To Find What Is Lost

St. Anthony, when you prayed, your stolen book of prayers was given back to you. Pray now for all of us who have lost things precious and dear. Pray for all who have lost faith, hope, or the friendship of God. Pray for us who have lost friends or relatives by death. Pray for all who have lost peace of mind or spirit. Pray that we may be given new hope, new faith, new love. Pray that lost things, needful and helpful to us, may be returned to our keeping. Or, if we must continue in our loss, pray that we may be given Christ’s comfort and peace. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lost Glasses

John and Bill Shaw are brothers, they are both Catholic priests, both
in their 80's, and inseparable.  A few years ago, they decided to take
the hiking trail up Mount Adams in Washington State. But about
two-thirds the way up the 12,281-foot climb, they were tired. So they
headed back down the mountain, arriving at the trailhead 10 hours
after their start. It was then they discovered that Fr. John Shaw had
left his eyeglasses on the trail, probably on a rock.
        Three days later, they ventured up the trail again to try to find the
glasses. They began to realize how futile their search might be, among
all the “nooks and crannies and rocks and snow...and all the people
who had been on that trail.”  They were about to give up when Fr. Bill
Shaw (“he’s such a man of prayer,” insists Fr. John) said: “We haven’t
prayed yet to St. Anthony.” St. Anthony who was very special to their
mother, and to them as well.  So they prayed. And as they finished the
prayer, they looked down at the ground. The glasses were there at
their feet.