Update on what I asked you to help me pray for

St. Anthony of PaduaThe other day I ask for your help by means of prayers for something very important that I had lost or was stolen in the Denver Airport.  When the thing didn’t turn up, I then asked if you would also pray that the person who had it would have a change of mind and heart.

It seems your prayers have worked.

Here is the fuller explanation and update.

It was my iPhone that went missing at the airport.  The moment I realized I didn’t have it, I reported it lost.  I retraced where I had been.   I then headed off to Wyoming Catholic College for my speaking engagement and visit there. 

I called the Denver Airport again that night and again the next day.  I was told they didn’t have my phone.  On my way back through Denver yesterday I checked again.

I spent quite a bit of very nervous time changing passwords on everything I could think of that I could access from my phone.  Believe me… that is a lot of things.  Then I went into my ATT account page and suspended the phone service. 

I when I got home I therefore went straight from the airport to the store and negotiated a new phone with a bit of a discount though an early upgrade.  Still very spendy. 

When I got to my house I found a message on my answering machine from my mother, that evening, saying that Denver Airport’s Lost and Found HAD MY PHONE.  They saw her number in my recent calls and called her late in the afternoon!  By the time I learned this, the Lost and Found was closed.

When I had checked the Denver airport yesterday the morning the person I spoke with apparently didn’t actually check to see if they had it.  Very expensive for me, as that turned out! 

Thus, I called the Denver Airport Lost and Found again today and spoke with a different person who confirmed that they had my phone.  She said they could FedEx it to me on Monday if I had a FedEx number.  I do and they have given me my tracking number.  I lost the phone on the 3rd.  It was turned in on the 4th.

Therefore on Wednesday I will probably have back my not-very-old formerly-lost very-expensive paper weight after its little vacation.

Then I called the ATT store where I had spent time and money last night.  They can take my new phone back a 10% fee.

Here is what I draw from this.

First, prayers are effective.  Something moved the person to turn my phone in after some delay.  Or perhaps St. Anthony helped Lost and Found find my phone they in turn had lost.  I don’t know which it is, but I am getting my old phone back, which in purely worldly terms was very much not likely to happen.

Second, regarding the phone itself, I have now started researching some apps and options to add additional security.  I will post on this in another entry.  Ever worry about identity theft?  I have. 

Third, it pays to pray and to be persistent in prayer… and persistent in your own efforts as well.  Many problems which seem to be lost causes can be resolved by grace and elbow grease.

Fourth, asking for help helps.

Therefore I am very grateful to everyone who, in their kindness, helped me pray for the return of this thing, which could have lead to some real problems and far greater expense.

Thank you, dear readers.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wanda says:

    Oh Father, how happy I am for this good outcome. It absolutley affirms the power of prayer. Thank you St. Anthony, St. John Vianney and Our Lady of Good Remedy.

    This is super news, it had been on many of your readers minds, hearts and prayer lists!

    Deo Gratias!

  2. An American Mother says:

    Well, how about that?

    Thank you, Lord Jesus!!

    Proving once again that nothing is too difficult (with a hand from St. Anthony). I wasn’t so sure, but I shouldn’t have doubted. If the good man from Padua wasn’t a saint, he would be occupied full time with retrieving all the stuff I ‘temporarily mislay’.

  3. What an absolute nightmare!
    Great news, Fr. Z!
    Prayer is effective; no doubt.
    And God and His angels and saints work through the mediation of us idiotic mortals.
    Isn’t that great news?!!

  4. MargaretMN says:

    Over 20 years ago now I lost my passport for 48 hours in an airport secure area in Miami. Getting it back was a good lesson on how much bureaucratic red tape there is in airlines and airports. A member of the cleaning staff may have had your phone for an entire shift before he or she bothered to drop it off at lost and found. But anyway, great news! And another score for Our Lady undoer of knots!

  5. Mariana says:

    Thank YOU, Father, for allowing us to help you! Delighted with the outcome!

  6. JohnW says:

    I am so happy for you Father. My mother has told me since a little child how great St. Anthony is in helping with lost things. My mother is 93 years old and very often will call and tell me how St. Anthony has helped her to find things she has missed placed. Saint Anthony has worked many miracles.

  7. Go, team, go! Hurrah for the Communion of Saints!

    It also goes to show how much we affect each other’s lives, in bad ways and good. Customer service and volunteer sorts of looking out for each other is important stuff.

  8. Kent says:

    Congratulations on finding your phone. I know something of what you have been through. A few years back on a family trip I absentmindedly shoved my wallet in one of my shoes and forgot about it. It was a pair that I did not wear very often. Well we got home and panic ensued. All I could remember was the kids leaving the car door open when we were checking into a motel. After cancelling credit cards and the such, it finally turned up.

  9. Kent says:

    I sure wished I had known that you were going to be at Wyoming Catholic College. Out here in the boondocks we don’t get many chances to hear someone with EF, Latin or chant sympathies. It would still have been a long trip (from western Nebraska) but one that I probably would have taken. Do you advertize your schedule anywhere?

  10. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    Great!Thank God and the intercession of Our Lady and the mighty St. Anthony.Now you have set me into re-examining my own Mobile security Father it is no I Phone – so no helpful apps!

  11. Theodorus says:

    Thanks be to God! And indeed, St. Anthony did it again!! Prayers do work. A year ago, a package sent to me was stolen (the package was left in front of my door by UPS, but someone stole it). I prayed two things: 1. Some kind people could return it if they found my lost package; 2. the one who stole it would return it. Half hour after I prayed, two people knocked at my door and with them, an opened package. They found the opened package on the ground while walking their dog. Apparently, someone stole it and opened it, and after seeing nothing valuable in it (actually one missal and one book on exorcism), he just threw it away. I couldn’t thank God enough and was very grateful to the kind people who found and returned it.

  12. gloriainexcelsis says:

    I’m sure St. Anthony was on the job. Deo gratias.

  13. MAJ Tony says:

    Don’t know how an iPhone works, but some of the newer phones (Palm Pre for example) have a system where you can disable the phone by logging on to the service provider’s system. That way, you don’t have to change all the passwords you had saved.

  14. Penguins Fan says:

    Fr. Z, I know how you feel.

    I have lost my phone three times. Once, I left in our rental car at the Tampa airport. My wife was persistent and the rental car company located the phone and returned it to me.

    Another time I dropped it in the company gym. My former boss found it, called my wife and returned it to me the next day.

    Another time, using the stupid belt clip, it fell off at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Someone returned it. I took off the belt clip and threw it in the garbage.

    I do nothing with my phone but make calls.

  15. JohnMa says:


    It’s on the left hand side of the site.

  16. mfg says:

    ah, St. Anthony, certainly the hardest working of the saints. He’s never let me down. I invoked him for you and am pleased with the result. We must never forget to thank him profusely. Were not ten made clean, and where are the other nine?
    Good St. Anthony, Somethings lost and can’t be found, Please come down and look around! Works every time.

  17. Supertradmom says:

    Thanks for telling us the story. St. Anthony is very reliable.

  18. Nora says:

    Thanks for letting us know of the answered prayers. I love prayer and the great communion of saints. Stories like these are a great tool for showing people why being Catholic makes life so much simpler and more fun.

  19. JonM says:

    Father, I am so happy to hear this. I renewed my intentions to St. Anthony even today for this purpose.

    Since you have back your phone, I must tell you that I needed the great saint’s help Friday morning setting off on a trip north through the beginning of the blizzard. I could not find my car keys and I needed to leave asap – I stopped, prayed, and immediately afterword turned to find exactly where my keys were.

    I also am completely sure St. Christopher, to whom I always pray before a long trip, helped me on 220 in Virginia. A truck attempted to pass on the right up a hill and began sliding…there was enough room to fit a slip of paper between my car and the truck. Both drivers were protected.

    Prayer is so powerful. That I discovered when I converted and find increasingly so.

  20. doublenan says:

    Grateful to God and Saint Anthony your lost phone was found, Father. Thank you for the followup.

  21. Agnes says:

    Something was lost but now is found,
    Thanks be to God, St. Anthony, for bringing it ’round.

  22. Tantum Ergo says:

    The reason it took this much time is simply that’s the way Jesus works. Remember, He could have calmed the storm at sea at the first gust of wind, but if He had that, what a lesson would have been lost!

  23. kat says:

    That’s great, Father. Every time I logged in and didn’t see anything new I was pretty worried, so I kept praying for a good outcome. God is so good. Thank you, God, and all the Saints who interceded.

  24. TC says:

    At least you acknowledge the prayers helped. I’ve had people ask for prayer then say, “I found it once I quit panicking and retraced my steps” or “It was under the couch cushion the whole time!”

    Man loses report he has to turn in at work the next day or be fire. this is pre-computer so he can’t just print it out again’
    “Lord,” he says, “help me find it and I’ll never miss Mass again . . . I’ll double what I put in the collection . . . I’ll . . . never mind, I found it!”

  25. aethelbeart says:

    An iphone? Wait, that was what all of us were supposed to pray for, a luxury item? With so many people in truly desperate situations? I have a lot more respect for the libbed-out Jesuits, at least they give a damn about people. Staple it to your arm next time, Padre.

  26. mvhcpa says:

    Okay, aethelbeart, this and your (now-removed) posting under the previous lost-item thread are technically humorous but NOT FUNNY. In the spirit of charity, I hope you never lose a tool as important to you as the iPhone is to Father, but when you do (as I am sure you will), you’ll have an opportunity to A) know just how bad it feels to lose something important and B) feel the beauty of God’s grace turned toward you when you find it again.

    I join my voice with the other folks here, thanking all intercessors in the Communion of Saints–both here in the temporal world and in those already home!

    Michael Val
    (who also sics St. Jude as well as St. Anthony on a sticky lost-item problem–usually with very effective results)

  27. Tom A. says:

    Great story. I had an incident on a train in Switzerland like that once. My Aunt was visiting me in Europe and left my camera on a train. We gave all the info to the Lost and Found. In my prayers I prayed for the camera’s return not because of the value but to ease the suffering I know it caused my Aunt. A few weeks later, I got a call from a Switzerland saying they had my camera. It was a miracle.

  28. Tom A: These stories demonstrate that a lot of people out there prefer at the end of the day to have a clear conscience.

  29. mvhcpa says:

    To continue Tom A.’s theme, I know when I lose something I really need/want, I pray to Sts. Jude and Anthony first for return, then for simple consolation on the loss. (Please note that I usually do not care about the material loss, like a camera, but rather the non-material losses, like the pictures thereon.) The funny thing is, once I am consoled to the loss, the item often, under either more or less miraculous circumstances, comes on back.

    Michael Val
    (who won’t bore you with the details of the story of the camera mentioned above, but it was a pretty amazing story!)

  30. PilarDLS says:

    Dear Fr. Z,
    I’m glad you found your phone. I put a little label on my phone with my email address on it. That way, if the phone is found, the person can email me and tell me that they have it. I do the same for my camera, gps unit, etc. It’s helped me to get them back more than once.

  31. Traductora says:

    I’m happy you found your phone, Fr. Z! I had mine stolen at a cafe in Europe and was paranoid for years about identity theft, but aside from the occasional attempt to access my on-line accounts, nothing ever happened.

    A late comment for people who have ever found a phone: while the lost and found or the police will eventually get the phone back to its owner, sometimes taking a moment to look for the owner’s ID and call them at some other number associated with them (even one that just appears often in the outgoing calls) will get the phone back to its owner faster and will constitute a real mitzvah.

  32. MaryAgnesLamb says:

    So happy to hear this , Father! Thanks be to God!

  33. irishgirl says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you got your phone back, Fr. Z!

    Thanks be to God and the prayers of St. Anthony!

    Aethelbeart-hey come on, lighten up, will you? Sheesh….

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