Praying to Saint Anthony

Main Content:

Praying to Deceased Saints

I: Informant, M: Me

I: I’m Catholic and a lot of people pray to Saint Anthony when they lose something.

Context: My informant learned this through her congregation and while she does not regularly pray to Saint Anthony or any deceased saints in particular, she says it is very common within the congregation, even though it isn’t necessarily codified. When I lost my Apple Pencil a few weeks prior she told me to pray to Saint Anthony to help me find it.

Analysis: As is true with most religious folklore, praying to deceased saints -often to help you with something in particular- is not an official part of Catholicism. In fact, the official Catholic stance would consider this practice idolatry as people are praying to someone other than G-d. Thus, this truly is folklore as it allows for something that would typically be unacceptable behavior in ‘normal contexts,’ and makes not only acceptable, but also popular. There is nothing biblical or official about praying to saints yet it is still a very common Christian practice. Unofficially, people pray to the patron saint of whatever they need, so in this case Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost things.