Why do we invoke Saint Anthony of Padua for lost objects?

Why do we invoke Saint Anthony of Padua for lost objects?

Saint Anthony of Padua, great thief, great trickster, return what is not yours! » This well-known phrase fuels popular devotion to Saint Anthony. Because it is customary to call Antoine for help to find lost objects! But we have somewhat forgotten that this Portuguese saint and Franciscan priest is a mystic who was a great theologian and also a missionary.

Antoine was born in Lisbon, Portugal, under the name Fernando, in 1195. The eldest son of a noble and wealthy family, he entered, at fifteen, the regular canons of Saint-Augustin. At the age of 25, he was ordained a priest.

A disciple of Saint Augustine and Saint Francis of Assisi, he proved to be an excellent preacher. This is why he is sent to France to fight against the Cathar heresy. Many people are converted by listening to it. Antoine founded a monastery in Brive-la-Gaillarde. In 1230, he became advisor to Pope Gregory IX. In 1231, he retired to the convent of Sainte-Marie de Padua where he died of exhaustion on Friday June 13, at the age of 36. Canonized in 1232, Saint Anthony of Padua was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1946.

“Everyone’s saint”

Since the 17th century, it has often been invoked to find lost objects. It is said that a novice wanting to leave the Order stole from Antoine his psalter, annotated by his hand, and which he used for his sacred writing lessons to his confreres. The Portuguese prayed to find his psalter. The novice, repentant, brought back the work.

Saint Anthony is also invoked to recover health and to grant a wish. Having become the patron saint of Portugal, Portuguese explorers made him known to the whole world. He becomes the patron saint of sailors and prisoners.

Pope Leo XIII (1810 – 1903) said of him that he is “the saint of everyone”.

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