“If you are looking for something and can’t find it you need to promise to São Longuinho that you will jump three times and scream three times and the saint will find it for you.”
This is my informant’s description of a superstition her grandmother held. My informant is a native of Brazil and is of Portuguese descent. According to her, her grandmother, from whom she learned this superstition, was a fervent Catholic and “knew hundreds of saints and their miracles and for every misfortune or mishap there would be some saint to pray to or a superstition to fix it!” She said superstitions were her grandmother’s specialty.
I am not aware of any superstition of jumping and screaming to find a lost object in Catholic tradition. This superstition does, however, contain Catholic elements, such as the saint, and the idea of three. Catholic tradition is replete with threes, symbolizing the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This magic-superstition is likely an example of hybridization. As many holidays including Christmas and Easter were once non-Christian feasts, to which the Catholic church attached Christian meaning to facilitate mass-conversion within their growing dominion, this superstition was probably once a native idea, to which Portuguese Catholics attached S o Longuinho.