“Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach
and your actions speak.”
St. Anthony, famously known as the patron saint of lost and stolen items, was born in Portugal in 1195. He joined the Franciscan Order and after a failed trip back to Portugal from Morocco, his ship veered off course straight to the island of Sicily. Anthony continued a life of a quiet friar in Sicily practicing corporal and spiritual works of mercy. He cared for the sick, fed the hungry, and used his theological background to instruct. Although Anthony used simplistic language, his holiness and love for God came through his words. The Sicilian people thought he was the best preacher they had ever heard.
Once his reputation began to grow, his quiet life at the hermitage was exchanged for that of a public preacher. He spent the rest of his life traveling around Italy and France, preaching in churches and town squares. Towards the end of life, he settled in Padua. He was the first teacher in the Franciscan Order, given the special approval and blessing of St. Francis to instruct his brothers.
The reason Anthony is named the patron saint of lost or stolen items is traced back to an incident that happened in his own life. A novice in the Franciscan Order had grown tired of religious life and decided to leave the Order. Upon his departure, he stole Anthony’s psalter. Once Anthony discovered his psalter was missing, he began to pray for it to be found and returned to him. At once, the novice decided to return the book to Anthony and rejoin the Order. Now, St. Anthony is who we pray to when something valuable to us is lost or stolen.
St. Anthony’s life is what every Christian life is meant to be: a steady courage to face the ups and down, the call the love and forgive, to be concerned the for the needs of others, and to have total trust in the love of God.
Website: Loyola Press http://loyolapress.com/saints.htm#