I believe in Saint Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost Things.
I am not a Practitioner of the Catholic Faith, nor an Aficionado of Saints, but I am a Loser of Things. Shoes, folders, pens, journals, books, clothing, freshly poured drinks – you name it, I’ve misplaced it. Some items – such as my beloved sketchpad from 4th grade or my not-as-beloved-but-still-pretty-important social security card – sit in closets or drawers for years before I deem them “lost.” Other things, such as wallets and keys, seem to disappear mere moments after I set them down. But no matter the where or the when, Saint Anthony will help me find them.
Some of my fellow believers use the traditional Saint Anthony prayer: “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony / Please look around / Something is lost / And cannot be found.” But I prefer a more casual approach: “Dear Saint Anthony. I cannot find my sunglasses. I’ve checked my car, I’ve checked my room, I’ve checked the top of my head, but I still can’t find them. If you can keep your eyes out for them, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.”
Many times, I will search for a good 15 or 20 minutes on my own before turning to Saint Anthony for help. Many times right after finishing, I turn over my comforter one last time or ruffle through my book bag in just the right way to finally find the skirt/book/coupons/hair-thingy/toenail clippers for which I was looking.
While in college, a friend lost her identification card which contained her meal plan and debit card. We held hands and prayed to Saint Anthony. She returned to her dorm room where she had an email waiting. Someone had found her card in a bush outside the library. I once lost my address book and had turned my apartment inside out looking for it. I prayed to Saint Anthony, got in my car to get away from the mess, slumped forward in exasperation and what do I see but my address book poking out from beneath the seat.
The most amazing story of all was when a friend of mine lost his wallet in the middle of a national forest while on a 12 day backpacking trip. I admitted that this was a tough one, but that he should give Saint Anthony a try. We sent up a prayer, but as the weeks passed, I began to have my doubts. Lo and behold, three weeks after his trip, my friend received his wallet in the mail, sent to the address on his driver’s license. There was no note and no return address.
I believe in Saint Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost Things. I don’t know how he does it, but he has never failed me and I don’t believe he will. And if that doesn’t seem to you like the true meaning of belief, then maybe you need to pray to Saint Anthony for your marbles.
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