Click here for a previous acknowledgment of the miraculous helpfulness of St. Anthony.
Rather than getting into my long and complex lifelong spiritual journey, I will just summarize a relevant portion:
I am a Protestant, but in the tender years of my youth I was either exposed to Catholicism or, arguably, even raised "somewhat Catholic" while being raised "somewhat Lutheran" at the very same time. An epic battle took place over how I and my sister Mary would be raised. Protestantism won the war, but Catholicism settled in for a long, determined insurgency.
So even though I am Protestant through and through, there are what might be called "Catholic bones in my body" which cause me, from time to time, to say a Hail Mary or seek the assistance of Saint Anthony in finding a lost object.
It was not the teachings of my youth, however, that brought Saint Anthony into my life but an adjunct college professor of strong Roman Catholic faith who I used to work for at the University of Minnesota...
And upon one occasion when a lost item absolutely had to be found, she told me "Just pray to Saint Anthony." This I took to be the equivalent of an order, and to please my professor (and because I truly had no problem with it) I prayed the Saint Anthony Prayer which I did not know, but she taught me.
Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony/
Look all around/
Something is lost/
Which must be found
And miraculously the object turned up.
"Saint Anthony has never failed me," the professor said, almost casually. This, I decided, was something good and useful to have in one's life.
A couple days ago, I looked almost everywhere for an important object. I prayed the Saint Anthony prayer but the object hadn't turned up. I had actually given up and was about to drive four states away without the important object. As I was turning the keys to start my car a thought came to mind...
Your backpack. The pouch on the backpack you aren't using right now, but you were using a few weeks ago.
I looked for the backpack. I looked in the pouch. And there was the object. Nobody except possibly a timid opossum was around to hear me cry out:
"SAINT ANTHONY HAS NEVER FAILED ME!!!!"
As a Protestant, I don't have any explanation for this except that God is bigger than denominational labels. In my youth, two powerful denominations warred to fill me with their religious faith...
And both sides won.