The brilliant and inspired TCIE recently revealed to the astonished blogosphere (or at least this ignorant IF blogger) that the beloved Catholic saint, Anthony of Padua, is a patron against sterility and barrenness. In my mind, St. Anthony simply received visions of the child Jesus (yes, yes, I see the connection now), and is the patron of lost things.
He's also the only saint who consistently answers my prayers these days.* God Himself appears to have better things to do than listen to me, but if He listens to St. Anthony on my behalf, then that works too. Consequently, I never have any trouble finding lost things, but a lot of my other intentions languish. So it was very interesting to me that one of the big items on my list of concerns (not on my prayer list, for myself personally, for a long time; but I change my thinking about that periodically. I'm still trying to decide whether I want to stick with my original intention today - finding us a way to get into our house without a big hassle with our lease! - or switch to something about fertility) is within the patronage of the saint who actually likes me.
Anyway, I checked it out, and sure enough, you can find a little explanation about St. Anthony here. And here is a more expansive hagiography. That first site also has a nice prayer to St. Anthony, which looks to me as though it would be a good novena prayer:
St. Anthony of Padua, Glorious for your miracles
And for the condescension of Jesus
In coming as a little child to repose in your arms,
Obtain for me from his bounty the grace which I ardently desire.
You who were so compassionate towards sinners,
Regard not my unworthiness, but the glory of God,
That it may be magnified by you
In connection with the particular request
Which I now earnestly present to you.
(Name the request.)
As a pledge of my gratitude, I beg you to accept my promise
To live more faithfully in accordance with the teachings of the Church,
And to be devoted to the service of the poor whom you loved
And still love so greatly.
Bless this my resolution, that I may be faithful to it even until death.
St. Anthony, consoler of all the afflicted,
Pray for me.
St. Anthony, whom the infant Jesus so much loved and honored,
Pray for me.
I mention this because today is his feast day. (Happy Feast of St. Anthony!) Traditionally I believe novenas are ended on the saint's feast day (though they may be prayed at any time), but I have decided to start one today instead. Feel free to join me. (For those unacquainted with novenas, that just means praying the prayer every day for nine days. Not forgetting is the difficult part.) And don't forget to offer up a particular prayer to St. Anthony for TCIE, who is undergoing her clear passage therapy this week!
*I occasionally take a shot with another intercessor anyway.