Saint Anthony

I've written before about one of the simple ways I've been befriending some of the women I'm working with - showing them how to ride public transit.

Last week, I was showing Maria (not her real name) how to ride the bus and the commuter train. It was our second time, and she was really starting to get the hang of it. This was important because she will have a lot more freedom when she can get herself around town and not have to rely on people for rides. It's a challenge though because she is from another country, she's just starting learn English and I don't think she's ever ridden trains before.

Last Friday, as I said, was our second time learning how to ride the PATH. To get from where we started to where she was going, it was necessary to change trains which makes it a little more complicated. But she figured it out, no problem.

"Great," I remember thinking as we got off the train at our destination. "I think she's got the hang of this." Then I realized something was wrong. Between the distraught look on her face, her English, my Spanish, and the fact that I noticed her purse was missing, we realized that she'd left her purse on the first train. She was understandably upset - this was the last thing she needed.

To make a long story short(er), I found the number for the Lost & Found and called to find out the procedure. I then called her case worker who explained it to Maria in Spanish and told her she would go with her to file a claim the next day, Saturday. She felt a bit better. As we parted, I told Maria that I would pray that a good person found her bag and turned it in. When I got home I told my Sister housemates about it and we all were praying for her bag's safe return.

I saw Maria again today. They found her purse! With almost everything in it! AND, she'd ridden the trains all by herself the day before and had her confidence back. She was absolutely beaming!

I told her that I'd been praying to Saint Anthony (San Antonio) that her purse -would be returned. "Ooh," she said, whipping her bag off her shoulder and opening it. "San Antonio," she said, as she pulled out a holy card with his picture on it from her bag. "It's a little miracle I said." "Milagro," she said.


Anonymous said...

A little cultural insight into Maria and San Antonio. It was a great surprise to me, of Irish distraction, for whom Anthony is the saint of lost obejcts, to discover that in Latin American he's the go to guy for women who want to find a husband!

yarnslinger said...

What a great lesson in the power of faith! While reading this, I was reminded of my mother - whenever one of us couldn't find something and would start to get frustrated, she would say "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, look around, look around - something is missing and cannot be found!" It's just one of those things that seeps into your DNA, because I find myself still using this mantra. Oh, and yeah, it actually works!!!

Garpu said...

Wow. That gave me the shivers, and in a good way...Reminds me of the day before my doctoral exams, I was serving at the Mass and one of the cantors was there practicing. She was singing one of the antiphons Hildegard wrote, who's my confirmation saint. Kind of nice to be reminded that they look out for us. :)