In bad times or dangerous predicaments, many people turn to religious figures for assistance and guidance. Some believe that they will receive a little extra help if they send a prayer out to a patron saint. In this article, you will learn about some of the saints that are associated with natural events, such as floods and being shipwrecked.
When raging waters threaten the homes of surrounding towns and cities, people pray that they are safe and the flood waters bypass their home or business. Every year, billions of dollars of damage and thousands of lives are lost due to floods. There are more than one saint that is associated with floods, including Saint Christopher, who is not only the patron saint of floods, but is also believed to watch over sailors, boatmen, mariners, and even surfers. He is also considered the patron saint of travelers.
Before Anthony of Padua became a saint, he was a son of wealthy parents that wanted him to follow a lifestyle of nobility. Instead, he became a poor Franciscan priest for the sake of Christ. Anthony was present when the remains of Saint Berard and his companions were brought to his church for burial. They were the first Franciscan martyrs. This moved Anthony to leave his order and enter the Friard Minor. He went to Morocco to evangelize and became shipwrecked at Sicily. There, he joined some other brothers who were going to a church in Portiuncula.
Anthony chose to live in a cave at San Paolo. The only time that he left was to attend Mass and sweep the monastery located close to him. One day, a speaker that was scheduled to talk did not arrive and the brothers persuaded Anthony to speak in his place. His speech was so impressive that he shifted into traveling throughout Italy and France , evangelizing, preaching, and teaching theology to others. Anthony was a gifted speaker and wherever he went, the crowds would gather.
Known as a miracle worker, Anthony is considered one of the most beloved of saints. Because of this, it is commonplace to find his statue or image in many different places. Imagery used to represent Saint Anthony includes bread, lily, and a book. There is a legend regarding an old prayer book that belonged to the saint. It was a treasured relic that one day disappeared. People prayed that the lost item would be found. It was later returned after someone admitted to having ‘borrowed’ the book and returned it when he experienced a vision of an angry Anthony.
In addition to being a patron saint of shipwrecks, Anthony is also associated with animals, elderly people, fishermen, harvest, paupers, sailors, pregnant women, travelers, poor people, oppressed people, and lost articles.