Saint Anthony of Padua


I am mostly an atheist. But that doesn’t mean I’m not superstitious.



The other morning I lost my phone. I knew it was somewhere, but still I couldn’t find it. (For more information on this topic, see my recent piece on “the aging brain.”)



I had great faith, however, that my phone would be found. No one would have stolen it. Also, I’m very good at losing things that get found again.



So I took a walk at lunchtime, as I usually do, serene in the certainty that my phone would be found by the time I got back to the office.



And, just to make sure, I said the sure-fire St. Anthony prayer / invocation:

Something’s lost that can’t be found;

Please, Saint Anthony, look around!



And I came back to the office, and no one had found my phone.



But I found it myself, within a minute or so,



Saint Anthony was a Portuguese who became a Franciscan. He was often sickly, but wanted to be a preacher, and even set out to proselytize in Morocco once (although he didn’t make it there). Legend has it that he came to a church to preach, but found it empty; to shame his congregants, he went to the oceanside and preached to the fish, who rose to the surface and listened to him (although they fell into their old evil ways later).



Here is Janet Baker singing Gustav Mahler’s song on the subject:




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

2 Responses to Saint Anthony of Padua

  1. starproms says:

    Having faith is a wonderful thing. I also like the idea of having different Gods or Goddesses, Saints etc. to call on when in trouble. In this cottage phones have gone missing many times. We usually phone them up to find them, but I like the idea of using a fish-preaching Saint rather more!

    • And it works with surprising regularity. I like the idea of having gods and goddesses and saints to help out too. Try Saint Anthony next time you lose something; he’s usually glad to help out.

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