Monday, September 12, 2011

St. Anthony And A Cross

I was first introduced to St. Anthony over 40 years ago. I was working in Long Island City at the time, and I went out to lunch with the girls in the office. Walking back to work, I suddenly noticed my beautiful gold crucifix was missing. This crucifix had been around my neck since I was 12 years old and I had never removed it. My dad had given it to me, and I was heartbroken over losing it. I retraced my steps to the restaurant, then rechecked my steps carefully back to work. In the office I opened drawers and searched through papers, thinking I might have dropped it while I was filing. I did not miss an inch of the floors, and I was even on my hands and knees searching under the desks. I overlooked nothing including the restroom, but no luck! It was gone, and that was for sure. That night when I got home I passed my neighbor in the hall. After I told her about the crucifix, she said to me, "Pray to St. Anthony; he can find anything." So that night I prayed to St. Anthony and told him how much this cross meant to me. The next morning I prayed and I also looked again. This went on for over two weeks. I kept rechecking my office and all the blocks along the way to the restaurant, and then the restaurant itself. But by the third week, I finally told myself to forget it and I gave up. I hadn't seen my neighbor in all this time. When I saw her again, she was surprised to hear I hadn't found my cross. She asked me if I had lit a candle in church in front of St. Anthony's statue. She insisted I try this. To myself I said how ridiculous it would be to light a candle, when it was obvious I would not find my cross after so long a time. The next morning at work, this was still bothering me, so I went to a church on my lunch hour to light a candle. But now I was so upset that I found myself yelling at St. Anthony. I recall the last thing I said to him before leaving the church: "I haven't asked you to find a meaningless thing, but a symbol of Christ, and if you were real you'd make sure I got my cross back today!" I rushed back to work, still mad. I had missed my lunch hour for this! Just as I sat down at my desk, I heard the porter say, "Did anyone lose a cross?" I jumped up and yelled, "I did! I did!" He bent down, picked up the cross and said, "Here you go. You must have just dropped it." Suddenly I felt strangely calm and said to him, "You're right; it must have been dropped here today." To myself I said my thanks to St. Anthony, asked him to forgive me and told him I would never doubt him again. Of course I never have!