Saint Anthony of Padua is one of the most popular saints. Many people pray to him to help them find lost things.
Washed up after a shipwreck into Italy, he ended serving in his friary there simply doing menial chores, washing pots and pans. Then by accident they learned of his great ability to preach. Then, becoming very famous, thousands came at a time to hear his open-air sermons. By the end of his life, 30,000 people would gather in Padua to listen to him; moreover, so many were moved to repentance that more priests had to be found to hear confessions.
This is how he was discovered: "in 1222, when St Anthony was 27 years old, a number of Dominicans and Franciscans were ordained by Bishop Ricciardellus Belmonti. St Anthony was present at the reception given at the Dominican Priory after the ordinations. It seems that the preacher who was to speak at this occasion did not arrive, so the provincial asked if someone else would give a short sermon to suit the occasion. No one was willing to just get up in front of such a group and preach, so they all declined the invitation. The provincial then ordered Br Anthony to say a few simple words.
It is said that he began to speak slowly at first and then more steadily. As he began to speak his words captured their imagination and their hearts caught fire under the power of the Holy Spirit. When he was finished all the friars realized that they were in the presence of a brilliant and powerful preacher."