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Finding St. Anthony: His Art and Miracles View Comments
By Marion Amberg

Santeros Roberto Gonzales and Ernesto Salazar fashioned this bulto (statue) of St. Anthony preaching to the fish.

ST. ANTHONY, please help me find my keys.” “St. Anthony, I lost my job and need to find a new one.” In some regions of the country where St. Anthony is revered as a celestial matchmaker, single women pray, “Oh, lovely St. Anthony, find me a lovely husband.” And if you’re a writer, you might beg the Franciscan saint to help you find the right words!

What reader hasn’t asked St. Anthony of Padua—patron of lost items and many other causes—for help in finding something? But how many of us ever go looking for St. Anthony? If we did, we’d find the friar’s likeness chiseled in stone, painted on murals, carved in wood and etched in stained glass.

He’s seen embracing the Christ Child, preaching to fish or holding a white lily, a symbol of purity. “Tony” even guards the poor box at the Jesuit-run Immaculate Conception Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. The poor box often benefits from the good fortune of bettors at a nearby racetrack.

What do all these artistic renditions have in common? They depict the amazing faith story and intercessory powers of this irresistible and universally loved saint. Come, St. Anthony is waiting to be found—in some very inspiring and miraculous artwork!


Writing from New Mexico, Marion Amberg researched and composed this story with a statue of St. Anthony—carved from a table leg—at her side.

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Columban: Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor. 
<p>After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul (modern-day France) with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture. </p><p>Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry and his monastic rule.</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus was never a careerist or a glory-monger; he did not demand to be hailed as a king or lauded as a hero. He came to live among us, to suffer with us, and to serve us from the heart. He came to teach us how to love.


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