The Informant is 20 years old, a sophomore B.F.A. actor at USC, and she grew up in Louisiana and Texas.
Her: Well, I learned this from my Mom when I was really little or something. But whenever we can’t find something we say a small, rhyming prayer to St…St…who’s the saint that helps you find things? Oh, wait. Okay. No. Yeah. I think it’s St. Anthony. So, yeah, we’d pray to that guy, St. Anthony. The little thing-a-ma-jig we said was like, “Dear St. Anthony, I hope you’re around. Something is lost and can’t be found.” And then apparently he’d help you find whatever it was that you were looking for! I can’t remember if it always worked, but we always thought it did. My mom learned it from my grandma when she was little and passed it on to my sister Adeline and me. I think Addy still does it a lot.
Me: I was taught a similar prayer growing up! I still use it today, I think it at least brings good luck.
Her: Yeah, that’s the thing. I’m defs not as religious as I was raised to be. My mom made me this little card that I keep in my wallet that has the prayer written on it. Like, I have a super-southern-catholic family from Louisiana and Texas, but I like keeping little things like that with me when I remember them because they remind me of my mom and make me happy. I do the prayer every now and then, but not as often as I used to. I might start doing it again now.
This shows the small ways that religion can help bring families together and remain in a person’s life, even when they no longer consider themselves religious. This prayer was a little activity that the Informant was able to participate in with the females of her family when she was a child. In this way, this prayer became something that she closely associated with the women in her family and will probably always be a bonding factor for them when she looks back on it. The small card that her mother gave her then becomes a folklore object in that it remains in existence after the performance of the folklore has ended.