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Poll: Do you throw St Anthony a desperate prayer more often than not?

‘Have you said a prayer to St. Anthony?’

TALK, IN MY circle, recently turned to the act of praying; who did it, who were they directing it towards, what solace did they get from it, and so on and so forth.


Interestingly, there seemed to be a disparity between the act of praying and whether the individual considered themselves religious or not.

In fact, in some cases, there was no connection at all, and it was simply a case of finding solace in focusing your attention on a loved one or, as we are known to do in Ireland, begging St Anthony for a bit of help in the midst of a blind panic over your lost keys.

I’m a lapsed Catholic who – aside from weddings, funerals and baptisms – only attends mass at Christmas, and that’s because skipping it on December 25th isn’t exactly an option in my parents’ eyes.

I believe in very little the Catholic Church preaches, but I believe in something outside of our current reality, and I suppose that’s evidenced in the fact I have a lengthy list of people I pray to.

My aunt died 20 years ago this week, and since the age of 11, she’s the person I call on regularly. Sadly but predictably, the list has grown longer the older I’ve gotten, with more relatives joining her over the course of the last two decades.

But – if I’m being honest – the person who hears from me the most is St Anthony, who I have had a long and tumultuous relationship with ever since my mother advised me he was the man to go to any time I lost anything.

It’s one of the few religious ‘habits’ instilled in me in childhood which I haven’t shook off and while it’s hit and miss on the ‘response’ part, I have yet to part ways with him.

Religious or not: do you pray to St Anthony on the regular?

Poll Results:

Yes!  (487)
Yep, and I generally promise him a few bob if my missing item turns up. (287)
Of course not. What's the point? (218)
No, but I understand why others might. (214)

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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