Italian Studio Films 1st Movie on St. Anthony of Padua

“Anthony, God’s Warrior”

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ROME, JUNE 24, 2005 ( Next week the Roman film studios Cinecittà will finish shooting the first movie on St. Anthony of Padua.

Antonello Belluco, director of the movie and a native of Padua, said that he wanted to make “a film in which all — believers and nonbelievers –” recognize that it is “a gift” that the saint wanted to give them.

For Belluco, what is important is that “Anthony the man” be highlighted, even “before the saint.” Anthony was a man of “strong, immense and free spirituality, full of joy in face of all of life’s events.”

Jordi Molla of Barcelona, who plays St. Anthony in the movie, told journalists Thursday in a press conference that he got inspiration from Pope John Paul II when playing the role of St. Anthony, because of his “intelligence in knowing how to transmit the faith.”

Molla, who has acted in Hollywood films such as “The Alamo” and “Bad Boys II,” said he was captivated by the saint because “he believed in what he did.”

“He is a character that no one had offered me” before, he added.

Molla, who speaks Italian in the film with a Portuguese accent, explained that “I feel very comfortable with this tunic that I wear every day, and which makes me get inside the character.”

The film takes up the saint’s life and updates it by addressing topics such as usury, the plight of the foreigner, injustice and commitment to the poor.

St. Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal, and died on June 13, 1231, in Padua. The city has a basilica named after him.

Anthony of Padua was canonized a year after his death. His fame for many miracles convinced Gregory IX to proclaim him a saint on May 30, 1232, just 11 months after his death.

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