Today is Halloween, which makes tomorrow the great feast of All Saints Day. Let’s remember our special saint- St. Anthony- as we prepare for the feast…
Several times I have referred to the fact that religious life inside the enormous Roman Catholic family of faith is warm and cozy. We feel close to our parents and other relatives who have gone before us. We talk to them while we are driving the car. We call their attention to our problems as though we didn’t think they were aware of them, but of course, they are! If that is true of our relatives, it’s even more true about heroically holy men and women who the Church has given the title “Saints.”
When we head out to Dallas on I35, we ask St. Christopher to stay close to us. When a new pet is brought in to the house, we know he is a special friend of St. Francis of Assisi. On that great saint’s feast day, we frequently have a communal blessing of animals, because he saw every living being as a brother or a sister. In other words, he is a good friend of the pets!
The one that I turn to most frequently is St. Anthony of Padua, the patron of lost items. Do you ever misplace your car keys? Have you wondered around your house for 15 minutes looking for your eye glasses only to have your daughter tell you they are on your head? Well, those are light hearted items, but we really do believe that St. Anthony has a special interest in people who are in serious trouble because of something important having been lost. We don’t ask him to perform miracles, but we do ask him to help us use our brains, our memories and our eye sight more effectively. I have had this devotion my entire adult life, and I can tell you something- it WORKS! Maybe I should say, he works.
PS. A more serious prayer is:
St. Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find (name your lost item) which has been lost. At least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss. To this favor, I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen.