Saint Anthony's Miracles. The Liberation of Padua

The miracle

A few years after St. Anthony’s death, Ezzelino extended his dominion by brute force to all of the main cities in the Veneto Region: Verona, Vicenza, Treviso, Feltre, Belluno and Padua.

In 1254, four years after the death of Emperor Frederick II, Ezzelino was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV, who also launched a crusade against him. Padua was therefore besieged by the Pope's forces, which wanted to free the city of Ezzelino's tyranny. The Blessed Luke asked for St. Anthony's help so that the pope's army may be successful. Naturally, it's not only Blessed Luke who was praying, but with him were praying the citizens of Padua who were still in bondage within the city's walls.

St. Anthony appeared to two Franciscan friars (one of them is probably the Blessed Luke Belludi), and foretold them about the imminent liberation of Padua from Ezzelino's tyranny. And this is what actually occurred in 1256 when Ezzelino’s troops were driven out from Padua. The citizens of the city were finally free; their prayers had been answered through the intercession of St. Anthony.


Prayer is the most important activity in our lives. It is the principal way of developing a relationship with our Father in heaven. During the centuries, prayer has taken on many forms: speaking, singing, reading the Holy Scriptures, remaining silent… But it’s basically a conversation with God; a vertical conversation, not a horizontal one. So prayer is talking to God, but more importantly, it is listening to Him. God can communicate to us through the Scriptures, through events, or even through other people, whom He uses to encourage us and to help us understand His will. No matter which way He chooses to communicate, these ways reveal to us that God loves us; that He knows what is best for us, and wants to show it to us.

But why do we pray to the saints? Well, we believe that the saints, Christians who are in heaven, remain in communion with us here on earth: we call this the Communion of Saints. What do we do when we run into trouble in our lives? We ask friends or family members to help us or to pray for us.

The saints in Heaven are our friends who stand before God, and so we can ask them to pray to God for us. And when we make such a request for their intercession, we make it in the form of a prayer.