Friday, February 6, 2015

St. Anthony, finder of love San Miguelito's in Morelia, Mexico

I just returned from a solitary trip to Morelia, Mexico.  It's a beautiful colonial city in the state of Michoacon. Michoacon is touted as "the soul of Mexico".  After my vist, I understand why.  Not only is it in the center of the country, surrounded by mountains, but it's a cradle of "magical cities", beautiful villages, iconic churches and vistas  rivaling any I've seen across Europe, the heartland of the US and other far off places.  There's a romantic spirit and a pride among its inhabitants.  This energy is evident whether one is nestled among the Monarchs wintering after their migration from Canada, or dining at sidewalk cafes in the shadows of arched facades and cathedrals towering over the city parks, museums and cobble-stoned streets.

What took me to Morelia was a curiousity surrounding the centuries old tradition of people praying to St. Anthony in hopes of finding love.  I had heard there was a shrine of sorts dedicated to St. Anthony located within the walls of a resturant called San Miguelito on the outskirts of Morelia.

I flew into Morelia from Mexico City and was greeted at the airport by Geraldo, a local tour guide.  When I explained the intention of my visit, he smiled and nodded his head.  Yes, he was familiar with San Miguelito, and yes, for generations, he and his family have prayed to St. Anthony to find love.  He waited while I dropped my bag at the beautiful  Casona Rose B&B and then off we went in search of "love".

I was greeted at San Miguelito by Miriyam who graciously translated letter after letter written in mulitple volumes to St. Anthony imploring his assistance in finding love.  She guided through rooms filled with saints and angels, folk art and artifacts. There are over 750 statues (most are

upside down...part of the tradition) and images of St. Anthony left behind by pilgrims in search of love. I saw a wall full of engagement and wedding photos in testimony to prayers answered.  I even spoke with patrons who were eager to share their own stories supporting this age-old tradition.  Romance at it's finest!  From my understanding, the place will be standing room only the closer we get to Valentine's Day.  Promises made to St. Anthony of return visits to this "shrine" are kept, and so love is always in the air!

Did I partake in the traditional ritual to petition St. Anthony to help me find my soulmate?  You bet I did! I walked around St. Anthony thirteen times, leaving behind a coin at the base of the statue with each revolution.  With each coin, I mentioned a desire for my perfect mate.   I then, lit a candle at the altar, and entered my request in the book along with hundreds of other seekers.

Do I believe?  Yes, I do.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, March 3, 2014

We're on Amazon!

Natalie and I have just spent the better part of the afternoon getting St. Anthony hooked up on Amazon and Catholic Match and anywhere else we think he needs to be.  If you have any suggestions for other venues, please send them to us.  We'll LOVE your help in spreading the message of St. Anthony, finder of LOVE to the waiting world!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who Wants to Win a St. Anthony Statue for Valentine's Day?

Good Day all!
Natalie here...
I hope everyone is finding themselves grateful, healthy and happy!

"Some of the most famous rituals involve praying a prayer to St. Anthony every Tuesday while burning orange candles in front of his statue. Another legend promotes that the most effective way to find a life partner is by placing thirteen identical coins around the base of the statue of St. Anthony, and while praying, walking around the statue thirteen times (His Feast Day is June 13)."

Today, Tuesday Feb. 4th begins our week long contest to win a St. Anthony Statue with prayer cards, one coin and an orange candle,

just in time for Valentines day! 
So, what are the contest guidelines? 
They are all about shouting out links to St. Anthony's social media sites and website at much as possible.
We are trying our hardest to get the word out there and Share St. Anthony's love with the world :) 
It's a challenging task but our mission to spread love is very dear to our hearts. 
Please will you help us?

This is what I would like to see the winning participant do:

1. If you have a Facebook we would like for you to post a link to our website, maybe even recommending a St. Anthony statue as an excellent gift to give someone for Valentine's Day or just because.
Here is link to our site :)

2. Share our Facebook page with your friends on Facebook encouraging them to like it :) Please include these hash tags #StAnthonyLove #love #ValentinesDay #stanthonyfinderoflove

3. Share and follow our twitter page on your Twitter account if you have one..The more followers we have to more reach :)
Include @StAnthonyLove in some of your tweets..
Tweet about love and Valentine's Day

4.  Follow us on Pinterest :)

5. Interact with us :) We like hearing what you have to say...Share with us your stories of love

6. Leave a comment below so we know you are participating :)
and leave a comment on our Facebook post regarding this contest.

7.I hope YOU are the winner!

Ready, Set, go!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I love riding on the train. Well, I guess I love it if I have a seat to myself and the train car is empty and quiet – which is the case on this snowy morning.  There is nothing quite so tranquil as rolling past snow covered houses, farms and fields from inside the warmth of a magic carpet made of steel. ( City of New Orleans)

I came up to the Windy City a few days ago in search of vendors for my buddy St. Anthony, finder of love.  A day wandering around the Merchandise Mart Gift Show resulted in plenty of purchases for The Abbey Espresso Bar and one potential vendor for St. A.  I was pleased.  But, the real coup came the next day when on the suggestions of mi amigo, Tonio, I headed to the Pilsen neighborhood just southwest (I think) of the Loop .  It's called Little Village and it's a primarily Latino neighborhood.  

I was driving a borrowed car and I was not quite sure where I was going.  I prayed the age old  prayer to St. Anthony,....." Tony, Tony  look around, something's lost and must be found."  In this case - it was ME who was lost!

No sooner had I thought of that prayer that I looked up and saw banners lining the street advertising St. Anthony Hospital.  Is that wild, or what?   Since I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this project, I  figured that a detour to St. Anthony's was probably in order.

I wish I could say that I went there and the folks at St. Anthony ordered dozens of statues, but what really happened is that I was greeted by a most delightful Latino woman named Berta, who welcomed me to the hospital.  She introduced me to Janisa, the Director of PR, who was also delightful.  I left a statue of St. Anthony, finder of love, with  Janisa and hope that it finds its way into the right hands to further our cause - or at least into the hands of someone who needs to feel its message of love and experience its healing powers.   I may never know.  But, my prayer is "all for the highest good" - that's what really matters.

After my sweet visit to St. Anthony's, I headed into the "Little Village".  There I visited a few shops, and had lunch at a taco place.  The waitress, whose English is worse than my Spanish asked me about the statue. As an explanation, I showed her a copy of the prayer, which is in Spanish and English.  She laughed and indicated that she needed the services of St. Anthony, finder of love.  She asked for a copy of the prayer.
Still no sale, but I suppose that spreading love and hope is a good day's work.

I did connect with some shop keepers and met one that may be a potential vendor.  If I didn't like to visit with people and if I didn't believe in the St. Anthony Project, my day in the "Little Village" may have been a disappointment.  As it was, I spent a lovely, albeit chilly afternoon in what felt like "Little Mexico".  I thoroughly enjoyed the people I met along the way and have high hopes that one day soon, St. Anthony will be gracing the shelves of at least one tienda in the "Little Village."

Friday, January 17, 2014

January Thaw...not so much this year

It continues to snow in the Mighty Midwest!  Feels like the "old days".  Not like the covered wagon old days, but old days when I was a kid.  My memory tells me it snowed more back then.  But that might be because I walked to and from school in it and we all wore wool coats and hats and knit mittens and gloves and when the wool got wet it got heavy and cold against our skin.  And, we wore uniform skirts to school and so our knees were purple by the time we got there.  I remember hearing and believing that Eskimos were heavier people because they lived in a cold climate and they needed the extra padding of fat to keep themselves warm.  And, I remember being concerned that my knees just may be gaining a few extra L B's during the winter months to protect my kneecaps from freezing.  I didn't like that thought, and sometime I'd wrap my scarf around them - not just to keep them from frostbite, but to insure that I didn't wake up one morning to overweight kneecaps.

I hope that you are all warm - wherever you are.  If you're in the Midwest or anywhere it's cold outside - slow down.  It's time to hibernate. It's time for renewal and rest.  Try not to be anxious if you want to spend more time in bed or on the couch than you feel is normal.  I think it's a healthy and holy time of the year.  A time of reflection and snuggling.  If you live alone, get a wonderful blankie - a soft one -  wrap yourself in it and nurture your spirit. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

So, Happy New Year everyone!  Here's to a year full of romance, adventure and LOVE!!!!   Here's also to being brave, to being bold!  Anais Nin wrote, "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."

So, wherever you are in your life....commit yourself to a year of new experiences.  We're never too young or too old to live life fully and with great expectations.

Personally,  I'm off to the far reaches of these United States this year to spread the story of St. Anthony, the finder of love.  It's not like any of us have a desire to live life without it.  So, we might as well ask for it to be in our lives abundantly and then we might as well spread it all around.  Plus, how fun will that be to head down to San Antonio, Texas...hello....San Antonio..... St. Anthony is the patron saint of the entire city!  They'll LOVE the St. Anthony, finder of love statues there, don't you think?  And, you know what, we've included a prayer in the box with the statue about finding love, not only romantic love (there's a prayer for that too), but love for ourselves and our families and our communities and our world.  We better all be praying THAT one, don't you think?

And so, on the topic of the New Year and living large and living fully and loving abundantly, I just read something today from a book called One Minute Wisdom.  The story goes that a newly married couple asked the Master, "What shall we do to make our love endure?"  And the Master answered, "Love other things together."

So there.  Get busy loving each other and other things together and let your love endure.  By the way, in the box with the St. Anthony, there is also a prayer for couples who have found love in each other, asking for blessings on their love and that it will grow and endure.  The story was a nice lead up to telling you about the prayer, wasn't it?

St. Anthony, finder of love.  Prayers for finding true love, for blessing love found and for finding love in ourselves and our world.  He really is  St. Anthony, the finder.

God Bless everyone.  Believe in the power of prayer.  Believe in miracles, Believe in Love.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I've left St. Anthony finder of love cards in churches and shrines and coffee shops and restaurants all over Budapest. If you look closely, you'll see the cards at the base of the statue tucked next to the flower pot.  Spreading love.....all over Eastern Europe.