Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints


June 13 | Losing (and Finding) Jesus

Saint Anthony of Padua

A.D. 1195–1231



If you’ve ever lost your car keys or wallet, there’s a good chance you’ve prayed to this saint. 

His name is Saint Anthony of Padua. But his life was not dedicated to helping people find lost items. It was dedicated to helping lost people find Jesus.

Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal, but his desire to meet Saint Francis of Assisi and join his order brought him to Italy. Once a Franciscan, Anthony went about serving the poor and sick. He cared first for their physical needs. Then he would remind them that Jesus too had no possessions, and he would begin to preach the Gospel.

Anthony is also an official Doctor of the Church—meaning his intellectual insights have greatly informed our understanding of theology. But one of his most meaningful contributions was to make the complex theology of the Scriptures accessible to the common people. He used simple, relatable analogies to explain the teachings of Jesus. Using this approach, Anthony brought a remarkable number of lost people back to Jesus.

At this point, you might be asking, “So why is he the patron saint of lost things?”

This is the story: Anthony had a book of psalms that he absolutely loved. One day, a monk stole the book and left the Franciscan community. Anthony prayed with all his might for its return, and soon the monk was struck by immense guilt and brought the book back. 

Soon after Saint Anthony of Padua’s death, people began praying to him whenever they deeply desired the return of a lost item. And this devotion broadened over the centuries. 

But the greater lesson of Saint Anthony’s life is that he helped lost people find Jesus. And that is what we are called to do as well, even if it is helping ourselves find Jesus after we have lost him.

We lose Jesus in our lives all the time. We wander away from Jesus all the time. We're either not even aware of it, or we do it on purpose.

Our task then is to find Jesus again. He is always waiting for us to return. All we have to do is say, “Jesus, here I am, and I need you.” We can go to a church. We can talk to a priest. Or we can call up a trusted friend who is firm in their faith. 

And if we need that extra bit of help, we can turn to Saint Anthony of Padua.

Saint Anthony, pray for us!

WHERE IN MY LIFE HAVE I LOST JESUS AND HOW CAN I FIND HIM AGAIN? WHO ELSE IN MY LIFE CAN I HELP FIND JESUS?

I will keep finding Jesus again, and again, and again.


This reflection is brought to you from book title.


Patron Saint of: Lost Things, Miracles, Travelers, Finding One's Spouse, Poverty, Sterility, Sailors, Fishermen, Swineherds, Mail Carriers

Symbols: Lily, Book, Tonsure, Holding the Infant Jesus, Mule

Feast Day: June 12

Canonized: May 30, 1232

Canonized By: Pope Gregory IX

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