It's time for 'The Hammer'
In a small irony of the summer of 2013, the St. Anthony of Padua Festival Committee, sponsor of the celebration in Pittsburgh's Strip District, cannot find the winner of its annual raffle. The charity has reviewed the ticket stubs and emailed sellers to no avail.
Any other group might be a little alarmed by now. But the committee has yet to play its trump card. If all else fails, it will seek intercession from no less than St. Anthony himself, the patron saint of lost things.
Not to put any pressure on “The Hammer of the Heretics,” as the 13th-century Franciscan friar was known, but some committee members have jokingly suggested that if that fails, they will appeal to his boss. And next year, they could be holding the St. Francis of Assisi Festival.
But no one believes that will be necessary. For centuries, St. Anthony has been finding lost things, and everybody at the festival has a story to tell. Whether it's lost keys or a lost love, it seems to work for anybody who says the magic words, “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around, something's lost and can't be found.”
It makes you wonder how “The Hammer” might help with a few other things around here. There's that spirit-sapping fight between Highmark and UPMC, the one in which wealthy executives on both sides are using patients' money to one-up each other. Maybe St. Anthony could help them all find the common sense they have lost.
And while it is too late for St. Anthony to help UPMC find the compassion and charity that would have kept it from closing Braddock Hospital in the name of godless profit, maybe he could lead them to some sorely needed intelligence. Running ads threatening to close more hospitals if their demands are not met is stupid.
When Pittsburgh's new mayor takes office, he could use St. Anthony's help with the state Legislature. The current Republican leadership has lost faith in the city and if “The Hammer” helps them find it, a raft of urban problems could be addressed cooperatively — including the pension shortfall, mass transit and a solution for budget-draining tax-exempt institutions.
St. Anthony could help our national politicians find that place that Cicero describes, that place they all knew well at one time, where the welfare of the people was the highest law, where hungry children were not political pawns and programs to feed them were not chips in an ideological poker game.
Enlightenment, if found, might end the mean-spirited talk about eliminating minimum-wage requirements. Medicaid expansion would be embraced by all states as one way to expand medical coverage to the suffering. And honest, hardworking people, chasing Lady Liberty's promise, would be welcomed and not rebuffed.
At the end of the day, maybe we should ask St. Anthony to simply help us find our way. We have lost our way.
Joseph Sabino Mistick, a lawyer, law professor and political analyst, lives in Squirrel Hill (SabinoMistick@aol.com).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Distracted Steelers show nothing in loss to Eagles
- Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high
- Police charge Oakmont man in fatal Penn Hills shooting
- Woman shot dead, mother wounded in Hill District shooting
- Police identify victim of deadly Homewood shooting
- Children’s Museum teaming up for Eric Carle exhibit
- NFL could delay punishment
- AT&T offers customers option to text 911
- Uniontown PNC Bank robbery suspects surrender
- Indiana Township police on lookout for loose alligator