Have you lost something precious recently? If you believe in the power of prayer, the St. Anthony prayer can be a miracle worker for recovering lost things. It’s a staple prayer in Catholic households all around the world. Throughout centuries, countless people have been praying to St. Anthony in their times of loss.
Want to know the story of how St. Anthony came to be the saint of retrieving lost items? Here’s everything you should know about the St. Anthony prayer for lost things.
Who Was St. Anthony?
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Saint Anthony or Antony of Padua is the patron saint of lost things. He was born to a wealthy family in Lisbon in 1195 and grew up to become a Portuguese Catholic priest and a friar of the Franciscan order. He’s noted for his powerful preaching, knowledge of scripture, and undying devotion to those in poverty.
St. Anthony is also known for some of his life’s experiences that have turned into fabled legends over time.
One such story is of St. Anthony preaching to the fishes at the water’s edge one day. A great crowd of fishes swarmed nearby to listen, and people nearby were left speechless by the sight. When asked about the miracle, St. Anthony responded by accusing the entire village of being less receptive than the fish.
In another story, St. Anthony was confronted by a heretic that sought to challenge the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The heretic brought a half-starved mule with him and showed it fresh fodder in one hand and sacramental bread in the other. The mule ignored the fodder and bowed to the bread in front of St. Anthony.
Why Do People Pray to Saint Anthony for Lost Items?
The traditional practice of praying to St. Anthony in the hope of recovering lost items can be traced back to an incident from his life that took place in Bologna, Spain. St. Anthony used to carry a book of psalms containing his notes and comments. He used it to teach his students about the importance of virtue.
One day, a student ended up leaving the Franciscan Friar and taking the book of psalms with him. Keep in mind, this was prior to the invention of the printing press, so hand-copied books used to be of high value back then. Instead of chasing after the thief, St. Anthony prayed for it to be found. Not only did the student return with the book but he also re-joined the order he had left.
Ever since then, St. Anthony has been considered as the patron saint of reacquiring lost items of value.
Can A Prayer Help Find a Lost Item?
The main question is, do prayers work. Do miracles exist? Does God exist? Well, there’s only one way to find out, and you’ve got nothing to lose by trying. A genuine and heartfelt prayer can be as cathartic as meditation, because all of these rituals were designed to help humans connect with the higher power in their lives.
It’s not for anyone to say whether prayers work. It’s a very subjective experience. Prayers have saved lives on numerous occasions, and of course, there have also been times that they have not worked.
Whether or not praying to St. Anthony helps you find your item depends on the sincerity of your prayer and whether or not God wants you to have that item back. It’s possible God may decide that it’s time for you to let go of that particular item.
Rituals, regardless of whether they work, have an important place in human society. They do more than offer relief in hard times. Prayer is a tool that helps you connect with the deepest parts of yourself and gives you something to believe in that’s greater than you. It can be a humbling, calming, and reassuring experience.
How Should You Prepare Before You Make the Prayers?
The first thing you need to do is commit the St. Anthony’s prayer to memory so you can recite it at any time. For people having trouble memorizing long prayers, the short version of the verse is “Dear St. Anthony, please come around, (item) is lost and cannot be found.”
There’s nothing wrong with shortening the prayer. You don’t need to go to a church or any place special to say your prayers to St. Anthony. You can say the prayer wherever you are. Just find a calm spot to sit down, close your eyes, relax, and then recite the prayer, either out loud or in your head.
St. Anthony Prayer for Lost Things
O blessed St. Anthony,
the grace of God has made you a powerful advocate
in all our needs and the patron
for the restoring of things lost or stolen.
I turn to you today with childlike love and deep confidence.
You have helped countless children of God
to find the things they have lost,
material things, and, more importantly,
the things of the spirit: faith, hope, and love.
I come to you with confidence;
help me in my present need.
I recommend what I have lost to your care,
in the hope that God will restore it to me,
if it is His holy Will.
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