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Pam Spano believed for years that St. Anthony helped everyone but her—but here's how she changed her mind.

St. Anthony is one of those saints whose popularity is universal in many ways. Most people have heard the prayer, “Tony, Tony, come around, something’s lost and can’t be found!” It is the secular version of the lovely Prayer to St. Anthony to Recover Lost Things that includes the non-material.  

Over the years, my relationship with St. Anthony has been a rocky one. I have lost things in my own house, never to see them again. My grandmother’s wedding rings in their original boxes are somewhere in this house that has become the Bermuda Triangle for my lost possessions.   

My mother’s engagement ring (also in its original box) has also disappeared. A favorite bracelet has joined their company, as well as other pieces of jewelry.  

My fervent and heartfelt prayers to St. Anthony always went unanswered. I gave up and stopped asking for his intercession. I became angry with this saint who seemed to accommodate everyone but me.  

My daughter and I visited New York City in December. It is a favorite destination of ours. One of our favorite stops is Tiffany’s, the flagship store on Fifth Avenue. It is elegant and welcoming. They now have a small Audrey Hepburn exhibit that is delightful. (You can now actually have breakfast there, but they were booked solid when we visited.)  

I splurged and bought a beautiful ring for my thumb! I slipped it over the knuckle and gazed at the shimmering silver. It was one of the many highlights of that trip. My daughter and I floated out of the store carrying our blue bags filled with precious memories. 




I wore the ring that I had purchased from Tiffany’s to the senior Mass my husband and I participate in every Sunday. When we got home, I took off my gloves and the ring was gone. I started looking, but I was pretty sure I had lost it at the senior living facility.  

I called my friend (who is the chaplain there) and frantically asked her to look for the ring. I sent her a picture and the hunt was on. She traced my steps and even went through the garbage! Nothing. I was sick. I prayed a half-hearted prayer to St. Anthony. I gave myself permission to cry and tried to move on. I had purchased other lovely things on our trip and I didn’t want to dwell on the one thing that was lost.  

The following weekend I spoke with the receptionist at the senior living facility. She knew about my ring and had seen the picture. She told me the story of her daughter losing a precious ring only to find it in her boot! She assured me of her prayers and encouraged me to pray to St. Anthony. I told her I would, but I didn’t promise. In my heart, I was convinced St. Anthony just didn’t like me.  

Two weeks later, I went through the purse that I carry to that Mass. I emptied it of mint wrappers and replaced a packet of Kleenex. Suddenly, I saw something silver gleaming in the corner. It was my ring!  

I began to shake, cry, and laugh all at the same time! I grabbed my phone and texted my friend that I had found the ring. I texted my daughter with the good news.  


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In my heart, I was convinced St. Anthony just didn’t like me.


As I slipped the ring on my thumb, I prayed a prayer in gratitude to St. Anthony. My gratitude was not only for the found ring, but the many things I already have. Then I added gratitude for the many non-material blessings I currently enjoy: good health, my husband and children, and my wonderful friend who searched through garbage to try and find my ring. A true friend!  

I recently came across this prayer to St. Anthony. I pass it on to you in case you’ve never heard of it.  

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen. 



Copyright 2024 Pam Spano
Images: Canva