Today our Church celebrates the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, a man whose life took many twists and turns in his consistent search to serve God. For most Roman Catholics (and maybe others!) he is the one who finds lost items. I learned early in life the short poem: “Something is lost and cannot be found. Dear St Anthony, please look around.” No matter how psychologists try to explain the phenomenon, it seems as if St. Anthony is truly at work for the good of all faithful practitioners of this prayer! From a simple declaration of “I can’t find my keys” to a more serious concern like “I’ve lost my paycheck/my wedding ring/the copy of my dissertation,” the most common response of most Catholics over 40 years old is “Pray to St. Anthony” and stories of successful conclusions abound!
As a lovely conclusion to the brief biography of Anthony on the website wwww.americancatholic.org I read the following this morning: He whom popular devotion has nominated as the finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally in the providence of God. In my opinion that’s the best possible example of “finding” and serves as a perfect epitaph for this beloved saint!