San Antonio, Texas, is named for St. Anthony of Padua. For those in the know, St. Anthony is the go-to guy for finding lost or stolen items. What you may not know is that St. Anthony is also the go-to guy for finding your true love.

In Guatemala, singles flock to area churches on St. Anthony’s Feast Day, June 13, to ask him for help in finding their better half. It just so happens that I was in Antigua, Guatemala, on St. Anthony’s Feast Day back in 1992. The woman I was boarding with sent me to the church across the street to have a chat with St. Anthony and to place 13 coins in his offering box. Is it a coincidence that my boyfriend showed up two weeks later with an engagement ring that sparkled with 13 diamonds? I don’t think so.

Photo of St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.

St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church, 102 Lorenz

Residents of and visitors to San Antonio may connect with St. Anthony right here in the Alamo City. St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church, 102 Lorenz Road, was founded in 1927 to serve the workers and neighbors of Cementville, the area surrounding the Alamo Cement Company’s quarry, home of the current Alamo Quarry Market. From downtown, take the number 9 VIA bus north up Broadway. Ask the driver to please let you off at the Howard Early Childhood Center, 7800 Broadway at Lorenz. Walk west down Lorenz. The church will be on your left.

Photo of the original 1927 Cementville chapel of St. Anthony de Padua, San Antonio, Texas.

Original 1927 Cementville Chapel

Photo of one of the Stations of the Cross at St. Anthony de Padua.

The outdoor stations provide visitors an opportunity to meditate on Christ's life.

When the congregation outgrew the small chapel, a larger church opened in 1957. The original chapel, which was recently moved in front of the church and restored, now serves as a sanctuary for adoration. It is open on Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The grounds of the church include fourteen outdoor Stations of the Cross for meditation on the final hours of Christ’s life and a lovely Lourdes grotto. Inside the church, which also holds a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, you’ll find a relic of St. Anthony encased in a marble stand. Look below the St. Anthony statue to the left of the altar. Nine days prior to St. Anthony’s Feast Day, the parish hosts a nightly novena. Call (210) 824-1743 for more information.

Photo of Our Lady of Lourdes grotto at St. Anthony de Padua in San Antonio, Texas.

Our Lady of Lourdes grotto

Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priests serve this vibrant parish that has an amazing music ministry. Masses are on Saturdays at 5 p.m.; Sundays at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m. (Spanish Mass), 10:30 a.m. and noon; and Mondays, Tuesdays (novena to St. Anthony), Thursdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. On Wednesdays at 9 a.m., there is communion service only. Visitors are welcomed at all Masses.

On Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, the church will host its annual Parish Festival, which kicks off with a Mass on the Grass (grounds) at 11 a.m. A rummage sale, bingo, food booths, games and more will round out the day. Admission is free.

Drop by for a fun day! Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your true love? If not, ask St. Anthony for some help!

Photo of the relic of St. Anthony de Padua in San Antonio, Texas.

Relic of St. Anthony de Padua

A photo of the interior of St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.

St. Anthony's statue is to the left of the altar. His relic is below the statue.