St. Anthony

Informant: My informant, M.A., is 18 and was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. M.A. parents both work as corporate lawyers and he hopes to pursue the same career. M.A. is also a practicing Catholic and is strongly connected to his religion. He has one brother and two sisters with the family being almost fully Americanized but still hold on to some of his Syrian heritage.

Folklore: “The patron saint of lost items is known to be St. Anthony. The myth goes that if you lose an item, you say a prayer to St. Anthony that goes, ‘St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down. Something is lost and can’t be found.’ If you were to repeat this ten times then St. Anthony will help you find your lost item.” M.A. was taught this prayer from his mom at a very young age and was a commonly known story in his town. According to M.A., he says that his prayers have rarely ever been answered, but still performs the prayer regardless every time he loses an object because he figures it doesn’t hurt to try it.

Analysis: I was told this prayer from my parents when I was growing up, but the only thing that was different was that I didn’t repeat the prayer ten times. I felt that when I was a kid this prayer seemed to work a lot more than it does now, but I too still perform the prayer because it usually gets to the point where I’m desperate to find the item. Saying the prayer just gives me that small amount of reassurance that I might actually find my lost item but with my experience it’s usually gone for good.