I lost my wallet a few months ago. It was hard remembering where, but I assumed it was at a park where I was playing disc golf with some of my fellow priests. I waited a week hoping someone would find it and return it, but nothing happened. So I drove an hour to the park, hunted for it, and came back empty handed. Then I called the park service and asked them to keep an eye out for it.
All through this time, I had been setting Saint Anthony on the back burner. Let me explain.
Saint Anthony of Padua was one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. He was a miracle worker like Saint Francis – for instance, one day he preached to thousands of fish who came up to the surface of the sea together to listen to him when the stubborn citizens of a town wouldn’t.
It’s an old tradition that when you lose something, you should pray to Saint Anthony, because he’ll help you find it. He keeps working miracles – especially the lost-and-found kind. Over the years, he has found many a lost thing for me and others I know. One time he found the wedding ring of my mom’s friend. Another time he found my stolen bike.
But as far as my wallet goes, I had been giving Anthony the cold shoulder. To be honest, I did say a quick prayer to him. But I didn’t plead with him. I searched everywhere. I guess I was trusting in my own strength. I remember mentioning the lost wallet to a friend, who emphatically asked me if I had prayed to Saint Anthony. And for a moment I resolved to do so. I thought, “I should go to my room and pray and Saint Anthony will find it for me.” But I didn’t. I didn’t let Anthony and his amazing honing ability guide me.
Anyway, the other day I finally went to get a new driver’s license. I had given up all hope.
As I walked in the door of our house with my new license that day, I was met by one of the priests I live with. It turns out that he was looking for something in my room, when he found my wallet under a stack of papers. It was in the little shelf on the kneeler – precisely where I would have gone to say my prayer to Saint Anthony!
Sorry Saint Anthony! Sometimes we can be such knuckleheads!
May this special saint intercede for you!
Turns out we were playing disc golf again the other day and lost a disc in a large field. After ten minutes of searching in vain, I remembered the whole story of the wallet and said a quick prayer to Anthony. Sure enough, moments later I stumbled across the missing disc! I’m sure Anthony was laughing!