So if you’ve had the honour of spending more than a few minutes with me, you’ve heard me go on about St Anthony (of Padua) and how awesome he is.
I’m told that since Anthony is the patron saint of lost souls (and I therefore take him to be my personal patron saint), he’s very good at helping out when things go missing. And he’s worked wonders before with lens caps, mobile phones, reports, car keys, parking spots…
One quick World Youth Day story: I was out shooting the city when the Popemobile was driving through the city, and amongst the rush of the afternoon I dropped the lens cap for my Nikon. Completely stressed out (The Pope’s coming! Oh crap, I’ve lost the lens cap and it’s not even my camera!) I ran back to where I was hoping the lens cap could be found, desperately begging Anthony for help finding it. There and then, amongst the bushes, leaves and dwindling daylight, there was the lens cap, waiting for me. And I got back to my spot in time for the Popemobile to zoom past. Win!
Iris once told me that when finding a parking spot she repeats “Hail Mary full of grace; please find us a parking space” until she finds a spot. This didn’t work for me, so I took up someone else’s advice in asking Anthony for help with parking spots.
So I don’t do anything special, usually just a mental conversation upward asking Anthony to find a spot, or to keep a spot for me for later on. All very casual, no “Dear Anthony” or “Amen”. And provided you aren’t too greedy, he’s damn good at providing.
For instance, I can’t just turn a corner and ask for a spot, but if I pre-warn Anthony on my way to the supermarket, then he works his magic for me. Pretty much every time I’ve asked. I’ve even got Dan starting to think it’s a damn good thing.
But the best story is from Christmastime last year when I was in London. Genna and her sister Claudia drove me into London proper, and were looking for a parking spot within spitting distance of Oxford Street, Selfridges and whatnot. All three of us knew this would be an interesting task, and we did laps and laps of these tiny streets, desperately trying to find a parking spot. While we were doing said laps, I started telling them about St Anthony and his abilities with parking spots.
And now’s about the time I should tell you that Genna and Claudia are Jewish.
After explaining Anthony’s awesomeness and how I normally ask Anthony for help, both girls openly asked Anthony for a parking spot. We turned this tiny corner just half a block off Oxford Street and found a parking spot just the right size for the little blue Peugot we were in.
It wasn’t until we got out of the car that we realised we were parked opposite the Ukranian Catholic Church.
All three of us were suitably gobsmacked and impressed. The girls considered switching to Catholicism.
Dare you to give Anthony a go ;o)