St Anthony helps find a very important key

St Anthony helps find a very important key

man pulling key out of pocket

"There was the key in the pocket of the cassock!"

This miracle took place in the year 2015, while I was working as a seminarian on pastoral work experience at Christ the King Cathedral in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Uyo, Nigeria.

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Christ the King Cathedral is in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria.

One Saturday evening, I was working with another seminarian, a deacon, a curate, and the Cathedral administrator. As was our routine, my other colleague seminarian and I were getting things ready for Sunday Mass when we discovered that the tabernacle key was missing. This key is usually kept in the chapel in a safe place known to all of us, as we take it to church every day for early morning exposition by the deacon. While returning things to the sanctuary after Saturday morning Mass, the key was put back in its place (or so we believed).

When we discovered the key was missing, we immediately began frantically searching everywhere possible, even places we had not been to before. We did not find it. It was getting late and we were getting more bothered and worried. We had to confide in the deacon about the situation, and even though he joined us in the search, the key wasn't found. We then told the curate too. He was not happy with us, but joined us in the search as well, which proved equally fruitless. We were exhausted, but we knew something needed to be done and quickly. We went to bed, though I couldn't sleep. We prayed and hoped for a miracle at least by morning before Mass, but none came.

"Please help us find the tabernacle key!"

At this time, we didn't inform the administrator about what happened, as we did not want to jeopardize our vocation, given the sensitivity and sacredness involving the matter. When Mass began, my colleague was in the main church with the administrator, and I was at the pavilion with the curate celebrating Mass for the children. I was still praying for a miracle. Precisely during the Lord's prayer, I saw one, then two, and finally all the Mass servers leave the main church and head for the chapel. At that point I knew that the situation had heightened, as obviously the key was not found. The deacon joined them shortly after.

At this point, I left the pavilion, and it struck me that my favorite saint, St. Anthony of Padua, is known for finding lost things for those who implore his aid. While walking toward the building, I immediately said, "Dear St. Anthony, please help us find the tabernacle key, for if not, it could mean serious problems for us, for our vocations."

statue of St. AnthonyJust then it was as though I was being led by the Holy Spirit. I went straight to my colleague’s cassock, the same one he used on Saturday morning, which was hanging in the room we both shared, and there the key was in the pocket of the cassock!

In that brief moment we both smiled until tears began to drop from our eyes (we were very relived), and then we rushed back to Mass. It was a miracle, and we both knew it, because we had searched that cassock more than once the previous day.

Since then, I have been filled with much love and admiration for St. Anthony of Padua and I never fail to recommend him to anyone in need of his intercession. If it were not for his help, I probably would not have been recommended to continue my formation, let alone been ordained a deacon (and God-willing, a priest). To God be the glory. Anthony! Padua!

Peter Okon

Note: Peter, who became an Anthonian in 2002, has publicly shared this testimony in Nigeria twice, once during the 13 week Prayers in preparation for St. Anthony's feast day, June 13, 2018; and the other during homily on the saints feast day this year, June 13, 2020. His desire is to help others come to believe in the power of the saints to intercede for us, especially that of our dear St. Anthony of Padua and promote devotion to him to the glory of God. 

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Posted in: Prayer, Saint Anthony