Happy St. Anthony Day - Why Do We Pray to These Saints?

My Internet J-card is missing and I'm praying to St. Anthony to help me find it.  It always works.  I think about my lost article and then utter those words that Sister Andrew Marie taught me in second grade ... "Good Saint Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and can't be found."

I'm relatively certain I'll have that J-card in my hand before the day's end, and I've already searched everywhere for it. But when I've tried my best and still can't find it, I call in the big guns --- St. Anthony of Padua.

Is it St. Anthony helping me from some mystical dimension, or is it a superstition?  Some of my colleagues would say that the prayer triggers my own psychic abilities to dig up where I actually left said lost article from the recesses of my subconscious mind.  Maybe.

It's probably a little of both.  But don't sell St. Anthony of Padua short.  He is a spirit guide - one who reaches past the veil that separates this world from the eternal world and connects with us when we ask.  He's always been a guide for me.  I have the icon pictured above sitting on my dresser. I have another image of him hanging over my desk and still another hanging in my living room.  Then there's my St. Anthony statue in my columbine garden.  St. Anthony obsessed?  Perhaps.  But these holy reminders of him around my house help me make that spiritual connection.

But I digress...  back to why we pray to the Saints.

If you don't believe in God or a higher power or a Divine Creator, then this won't mean much to you.  But if you think there's more to this world than what we "physically" see, then think about an eternal world the lies just behind this one.  It's all around us - present to us ... we just can't see it.  In that world are guides who can help us along our path in this world.  These guides can be angels, or saints or the spirits of our ancestors.  These guides sit in the presence of the Divine Creator many of us refer to as God.  They join their intentions / prayers with ours, but because they are already in that eternal world, they make our prayers stronger.  In simple terms, they help us from heaven.
The Saints are like stars. Christ conceals them in a hidden place so that they might not shine before their time. But they're always there, ready to do so.  ~St. Anthony of Padua

That's why we pray to the saints. They aren't a replacement for God or Goddess or whatever you perceive the Diving Creator to be. They are helpers, guides, spiritual friends. And St. Anthony of Padua is one of the worlds most popular saints. So evidently, he delivers.

St. Anthony's Bascilica in Padua - 5 Million pilgrims a year visit
St. Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon around 1195 and he joined the Franciscan Order in 1220 when St. Francis of Assisi was running the order.  Anthony showed talent for preaching and teaching, but the Franciscans called to"public service" not preaching.  In order to best use Anthony's oratory talents, St. Francis sent him off to Bologna to teach theology to the Brothers there.  His ability to publicly speak with passion and persuasion became legendary.  There is even an old story that tells of creatures in the sea coming to surface of the water to hear the golden words of Anthony.  

The birds are like saints who fly to heaven on the wings of contemplation, who are so removed from the world that they have no business on earth.  ~St. Anthony of Padua

I talk to St. Anthony when I need a friend, a confessor, when I have to make a tough decision.  And it may sound crazy, but in my heart I can hear him answer back... always leading me, challenging me.  He's a soul friend... an Anam Cara.  I usually talk to St. Anthony before I write something I think is important.  I have this quote from one of his sermons taped on to my computer to remind me that everything I write should be written with care - that all writing matters because it becomes a permanent creation as soon as the letters hit the page. 
Be like the sun. Shed light, but also warmth.  
Interesting that the Feast of St. Anthony also falls on the birthday of the Irish writer and poet William Butler Yeats.  Two inspiring men when it comes to writing.  I wonder if Yeats ever works as a spirit guide?


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