For those of you who may not be familiar with the Franciscan corner at St. Louis, take a walk over to the two wooden statues next to the Sacred Heart altar. The first statue is that of St. Francis and the statue next to him, in the corner, is his contemporary, St. Anthony. St. Anthony is usually depicted holding the child, Jesus, in his arms and this is the way he appears in our church. Now, St. Anthony was known to be a wonderful orator and people flocked around him to hear him speak. However, most people know him as the saint to pray to when you need to find a lost object. This is the crux of my story that I am about to relay to you and this story will also explain my devotion to this extremely cool heavenly resident!
Several years ago, we had one of our obnoxious snowstorms that we are all familiar with. The wind was blowing and howling and generally being very annoying. I was leaving for work one morning during the blast, and to my dismay, I noticed that one of the shutters that adorns the garage window had a small piece missing that the wind must have blown off and absconded with to parts unknown. Now the sight of that missing piece of shutter was very noticeable and it would take some doing on my part to get new shutters put up. The ensuing headache was just too much for a body to bear. So, I started to pray to St. Anthony to help me find that piece of shutter so I could just glue the offending part back on and be done with it. Well, this was in January and I had no luck finding it. The winds blew that year and many other snowstorms ensued bringing with them the backbreaking jobs of snow blowing and shoveling, you get the drift (no pun intended).
Spring finally arrived, the snow melted, and I started to look for that small piece of shutter that had blown off. A one inch, very light piece of shutter would be almost impossible to find and you know what? It was. No sign of it anywhere but I did not give up. I kept asking St. Anthony for help. One April morning, I was pulling the car out to go to work and I noticed a small black object sitting on the grass. I was going to just ignore it when something told me to get out of the car and see what it was. I walked over to the object and started smiling because I knew what it was before I got there, it was that tiny shutter piece. That little offender was not there before because I had looked in the spot. I read that St. Anthony performs little miracles and things appear that were previously undetected. I can assure the reader that that is what happened in this case. It was not there and now it was even in all the snow and howling winds. I wondered why St. Anthony had made me wait all this time to find that missing piece of shutter but then I realized he was busy helping other people find their missing stuff and I was OK with it.
If you are looking to find a loyal friend to pray to or just looking to unload your beefs, try St. Anthony. He even has a tiny relic under glass beneath his statue that you can touch. I light a candle to him every week just so he knows I was there. I have a couple of other stories relating to the times St. Anthony has helped me out and if you see me, ask me about them and I will tell you.
St. Anthony, Franciscan, and very cool saint.