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Sant'Antonio di Padova (2002)

Depiction of the life of St. Anthony, beginning with his initial calling to the priesthood as a young Portugese nobleman, and following him as he becomes a Franciscan monk and preaches across Africa and Europe.


Umberto Marino




Complete credited cast:
Daniele Liotti ... Sant'Antonio
Enrico Brignano Enrico Brignano ... Giulietto
José Sancho
Peppino Mazzotta
Vittoria Puccini ... Teresa
Francesco Stella Francesco Stella
Glauco Onorato ... Martino
Luigi Maria Burruano Luigi Maria Burruano ... (as Luigi Burruano)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Txema Blasco Txema Blasco
Pedro Casablanc
Enrique Cazorla Enrique Cazorla
Gerardo Giacinti Gerardo Giacinti
Tacho González Tacho González
Charo Molina Charo Molina
Carlos Moreno Carlos Moreno
Learn more

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Depiction of the life of St. Anthony, beginning with his initial calling to the priesthood as a young Portugese nobleman, and following him as he becomes a Franciscan monk and preaches across Africa and Europe.

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User Reviews

Il Santo For Modern Viewers
9 July 2012 | by marcin_kukuczkaSee all my reviews

"The preacher must by word and example, be a sun to those to whom he preaches. You are, says the Lord, the light of the world. Our light must warm the hearts of the people." (Saint Anthony of Padua)

Sailors never know where the peaceful destination exists. Yet, there is, somehow, room for such idyllic existence in their minds. They strive for it in spite of storms that lead them to the places they would never have predicted to set foot in. Similarly, we head for some haven in our lives doing our best to avoid one thing primarily: hardship; yet, we never know where the torments lead us, what lesson they teach us, what inevitable good they do to us. This biopic shows clearly that it was also the case with saint people, those who have won their lives no matter if they saw their old age or died in their youth.

Heading for home? The sea does complicate this plan. A shipwreck on the coast of Sicily in the early 1220s is where a unique story depicted in this movie begins… But before I review the movie, let me outline some basic historical/biographical facts.

In spite of some differences in their approach of evangelizing, two great saints of the 13th century really have played a tremendous role in the medieval Church - saint Francis (1181-1226), referred to as 'Il Poverello di Assisi' and saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), referred to as 'Il Santo di Padova' There was something special about them – they challenged medieval times to a new form of spreading Good News – they noticed and loved the poorest. They both experienced considerable inner torments, they both proved great creativity in the missionary ventures, they both showed intense faithfulness to the hierarchical church, they both came from rich and ambitious families, they both experienced profound mysticism and died early, too early. And those medieval personalities perfectly addressed our times touched by growing respect for nature: they preached God's love to creatures. While il Poverello is known to have preached to the birds, il Santo preached to the fish.

However, a considerable difference lies in their popularity in the new medium that cinema is. While you can name several films about saint Francis that take different approaches and place their main focus on different aspects, there are not many movies about saint Anthony. This TV production, though influenced by serious simplicities, is a highly acceptable example of 'spiritually valuable films.' Made in the style of many modern religious film, it seems to be a predictable product of low budget TV productions and yet, it leaves you quite surprised. I was uplifted by the film along with other people at our spiritual meeting recently.

With running time of the typical feature films, Umberto Marino's production offers an interesting, though condensed glimpse of the live of il Santo. Its wonderful artistic merits, including picturesque locations adapted to the movie's needs and the music score by Mons. Marco Frisina, supply a viewer with lots of great touches. Moreover, you get to know the facts from the saint's life, and many of them rely on solid sources of biographers, and, at the same time, you have some fictitious characters that nicely serve as a clever conceit to frame the plot. This all relies on one major theme that affects the short but fruitful life of the saint: a way to sainthood is a way through suffering combined with growing confidence.

Brother Anthony, a former Augustinian religious Ferdinand Boullion born of a Portuguese Bulhões dynasty, is a very learned man, which is accurate historically (for example, there is a mention of his studies of Latin and theology at Coimbra). But he is no hero from the start, he experiences torments and growth, we are shown many scenes when he whips himself severely (a popular medieval practice of penance). He makes hard decisions, sometimes quite vague decisions which could be perceived by the materialistic world as 'insane.' He leaves his family in order to do what God wants of him. He leaves his beloved Teresa (Vittoria Puccini), in order to find love of his inner life (consider the emotionally displayed scene of their farewell and later temptations). He cannot rely solely on his own skills and possibilities but places his confidence in a supernatural existence of God. Something very concrete and common about a person growing up spiritually.

Daniele Liotti is a good choice for the protagonist. He nicely brings out the saint's youthfulness combined with spiritual torments along with learned background with spiritual simplicity he finds among Franciscan friars. Enrico Brignano, as his lifelong companion Giulietto, constitutes a word of reason within the ridiculous whispers of temptations.

Lots of biographical moments make for the movie's good reputation. Let me note a lovely sermon whilst the ordination of priests at Forli, the Franciscan martyrs in Morocco who led Fernando to a turning point, the meetings with saint Francis of Assisi, the encounter with heretics and the defense of the Church at Rimini; the attempt of his enemies to poison him as a danger to their policies. It is known from the biographies that Francis and Anthony met and the words that Francis addressed to a great theologian remarkable in the young Portuguese knight of the Lord: "It is my desire that you teach theology to the brothers, but not at the cost of prayer and devotion." A minor point of criticism is with the fact the film should have depicted the mystical experience with Child Jesus the saint is portrayed with all around the world.

A helpful biopic, definitely a must see for the viewers keen on movies rich in spiritual message.

Saint Anthony was canonized 18 months after his death and he is considered as one of the greatest saints of the Catholic Church, a real patron on the ways of seeking and finding...

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Italian | Latin

Release Date:

1 April 2002 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Saint Anthony: The Miracle Worker of Padua See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lux Vide, MediaTrade See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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