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Franciscan Prayer

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Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Instruments of Christ:
Reflections On The
Peace Prayer Of
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San Antonio from Colonial Origins
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San Antonio, from Colonial Origins to the Present

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The Origins of Christmas

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Puerto Rico en breve


By Awilda Ramos Mooney

El cardenalito: y por eso es rojo...

Historia de la devoción a la Patrona Nacional de Puerto Rico
Mensaje del Arzobispo a los boricuas en Luisiana
Rafael Cordero Molina: Teacher of Great Men, Servant Of God
Origen histórico del Kyrie Eleison

Talla de San Antonio de Padua
In Puerto Rico, Saint Anthony (early 13th century) is taken to be the patron of lost objects and of things that are hoped for. The color of his habit may vary from light blue, to dark blue, green, brown, or black. Historian Arturo Dávila explains that the Franciscans who came to the island in the 17th century wore blue habits in honor of the Immaculate Mother, but later adopted brown habits. Saint Anthony is the patron saint of the towns of Ceiba, Dorado, Guayama, and Isabela.
Source: Museo de Arte,
Ponce, P.R.

rriving on a Saturday afternoon at the Luis Muñoz Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is like running a major obstacle course. Thousands and thousands of tourists hurtle their way to ground transportation that will take them to the cruise ships anchored at the port.

My husband Joseph and I made our way off the plain to the pickup curb to be greeted by my daughter Awi. She arrived almost an hour later. Once she got there we place our luggage in the car. Off we went to our home in Dorado, a small quaint town in the northern side of the Island.

The forty five minute ride was exhausting through heavy traffic from the airport and finally exiting the city. Once we arrived at El Dorado Club, our final destination and home for a month, Joseph realized that all the luggage was out of the car and that his personal briefcase was missing. We all look franticly and came to the sad conclusion that the briefcase was left behind at the pickup curb. It was not the moment for a discussion. I immediately said: “We have to go back and look for it”. And we did, just after calling the Port Authority and the Airport Police Station with out any success.

We made the 45 minute drive back. Just before Joseph dropped me off, close enough to the pickup curb we had been before, I closed my eyes and prayed:

Saint Anthony, I know you are miraculous,
and find lost things for people I invoke your
name… please have the briefcase at the curb

I jumped out of the car, approached the pickup curb, and the briefcase was not there. I did not get mad with St. Anthony, of course, on the contrary I said to Him: “St. Anthony, I know you are miraculous, I put my faith in you”.

So I went along and made a report at the Airport Police Station. Women Officer Pérez took the report. As I started doing the list of the contents in the briefcase she had a polite smile:

- “One zip lock bag with prescribed medications bottles, personal papers, two USA passports, two checkbooks...".

Officer Pérez’ smile had long gone, her expression was of disbelief. I continued: “two airplane tickets, an agenda, and $700.00 in cash”. By then, Officer Pérez just plainly told me that I should kiss the briefcase goodbye. Buy that time I had also gone to the baggage security desk and given my report to the lost and found desk. I received looks of sympathy and no encouragement at all.

It was time to meet with Joseph who was not so patiently driving around the airport expecting news on his brand new briefcase that his son had given to him this past Christmas.

We made our way to Dorado again, this time in total silence. I told Joseph we should do some damage control and make a list of things to do and people to notify of the loss. As I prepared the list I saw clearly in my mind the passports being sold in Dominican Republic, identities being snatched. I had to put a stop to these thoughts. We finally arrived at Dorado. As soon as we entered the house, Joseph went to the bedroom and came out to tell me that there were messages in Spanish on the answering machine and to clear them. Awi and I went to the bedroom and played the messages through the speakerphone, my head was about to explode, when a message came up.

Saint Anthony of Padua
Anthony of Padua:
Saint Of The People

- “This is Raymond, I am trying to contact Mr. Joseph Mooney and let him know I have his passport”.

Awi and I stared crying. I called Mr. Raymond immediately to a cell number he left.

- “Mr. Raymond, this is Mrs. Mooney, did you find an other passport, mine is also missing”.
- “Oh, Mrs. Mooney tell your husband that I have all the things that were left in the briefcase at the airport”.

We made an appointment to meet in Dorado, Raymond suggested meeting in front of the Catholic Church of the Town.

We arrived at the assigned hour, met with Mr. Raymond Bispal, an honest taxi driver, resident of Dorado who had picked up the briefcase at the curb as he droped off a passenger at the airport seconds after we left. We exchanged greetings and rewarded him handsomely.

After all the excitement and reviewing the content of the briefcase I looked up at the church and felt goose bumps all over my body. I was looking at the statute in front of the church. The statue was that of Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of the Town of Dorado!.

Estatua de San Antonio de Padua
Photos by Awilda Ramos Mooney: Statue of Saint Anthony of Padua - San Antonio de Padua.

The next morning, Sunday, after we prayed and gave thanks to Saint Anthony we deposited a donation during the collection at the Church’s English speaking mass for the favor granted.

Photo to the right: San Antonio de Padua Church in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

*Awilda Ramos Mooney is currently a parishioner of Saint Anthony Of Padua Church in Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Iglesia parroquial de Dorado


Saint Anthony, you that fell in love
with the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi
-which was the spirit of Christ-.
You that have been known as the wonder-worker.
Never did you, Anthony, work a miracle for yourself.
But when others had need of food,
and you had no food to give, you Anthony, asked the Lord,
and a miracle was made for the poor who trusted you.

If articles were lost, an appeal to you located them.
Those too sick and poor to afford a physician
asked you to be their Doctor, and you were,
with the power of the Divine Physician.

To you Anthony, God’s wonder-worker
who does miracles now as you did then
we say: ______make your petition_________.

Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son,
who lives and reign in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

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