St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) was a Franciscan preacher and theologian and is famous today for being the patron saint of lost things. If you grew up a Catholic, you have probably asked him to come around and find something lost that can’t be found. His story is one of finding his purpose in life by losing himself and surrendering to the call of God, though it uprooted him in surprising ways several times. He abandoned his family’s wealth and privilege for the life of a poor friar. He hoped to serve as a missionary to the Moors, only to be sidelined by illness. After years of quiet study, reflection, and menial work in service to others, Anthony stepped forward to preach one day when no one else did. His gifts for theological insight and dynamic presentation soon led to his call expanding outward into a ministry of teaching and preaching. His feast day is June 13.
“The saints are like the stars. In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so. Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ.” — St. Anthony of Padua
Questions for Reflection
Sometimes God only shows us the next step in our journey of discipleship while the rest of the path remains hidden. Anthony of Padua’s life story shows us that God helps us find the way to use our hidden gifts in service to the world. What gifts do you have that might seem hidden in your life right now?
- If there is anything else that seems lost in your life right now, can you trust God to help you find it?