Saint of the Day for 07 November: St. Prosdocimo of Padua
St. Prosdocimo of Padua: the city’s first evangelizer
St. Prosdocimo of Padua
1st century, Greece
1st century, Padua
O God, source of life, who called the people of the Veneto region to the light of faith through the courageous and indefatigable work of St. Prosdocimo, through his intercession grant also to us that we may generously receive your Word, keep it in our hearts and witness it to our world. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Patron saint of
Padova, Cittadella, Asolo, Villanova di Camposampiero
In Padua, Saint Prosdocimo, who is believed to have been the first bishop of this city.
The Saint and Mission
St. Prosdocimo of Padua embodies the quintessential Christian missionary, one whose life is a weaving of apostolic zeal and fearless proclamation of the Gospel. He, sent as a disciple of St. Peter, crossed not only geographical but also cultural and spiritual boundaries to plant the roots of Christianity in the heart of Venetia.
With prophetic vision and a heart on fire for ministry, St. Prosdocimo understood that mission was not a mere transfer of doctrine but a profound transformation of hearts and communities. His approach was not one of conquest but of witness: he lived what he preached, embodying the message of salvation and hope he proclaimed.
In dialogue with the pagan tribes of his time, he demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of the true missionary spirit, which does not impose but invites, which does not destroy but builds up, which does not subdue but elevates. His mission was one of presence that enlightened, words that healed, actions that liberated, all rooted in an authentic encounter with Christ.
Legend tells of his tireless evangelizing work and his key role in the conversion of countless souls, including that of St. Justina, testifying to the effectiveness of his ministry. And his dedication was not confined to preaching or teaching; he was also a man of prayer, whose inner dialogue with God sustained his every missionary initiative.
St. Prosdocimo of Padua leaves us a legacy that transcends time: mission as a path of authentic human solidarity, a commitment to justice, and a living witness to the transformative love of Christ. In him we see that mission is not a temporary occupation but a way of being, which goes beyond the act of preaching and is rooted in a life of continuous witness to the Gospel.
The Saint and Mercy
St. Prosdocimo of Padua is an emblematic figure when it comes to mercy in the Christian context. His life and ministry are imbued with a burning desire to share the warmth of God’s love with everyone he encountered. In evangelizing northern Italy, he brought not only the Holy Scriptures, but also a heart capable of sensing and responding to the deepest needs of the human soul.
Immersed in the ethos of his time, St. Prosdocimo understood that mercy was not simply a passive emotion or a feeling to be cultivated in isolation. Rather, he saw it as a dynamic act, a courageous choice to meet the other in his or her context, to listen without judging, and to offer comfort and hope without expecting anything in return. This sense of mercy permeated every aspect of his apostolic service.
As the first bishop of Padua, he pioneered a church that desired to be an oasis of mercy. His pastoral leadership was characterized by a special concern for the vulnerable and marginalized, those who are often forgotten or cast aside by society. With gentleness and respect, St. Prosdocimo touched the lives of many, showing that mercy is more than just an act of pity; it is the revelation of God’s love that finds expression in the humanity of man.
His dedication to serving the poor and the sick reflects a deeper understanding of what it means to live the Gospel. It was not just a matter of doing good, but of being present – truly present – with those who were suffering. St. Prosdocimo not only alleviated physical suffering but, more importantly, he addressed the sufferings of the heart, offering a word of hope, a gesture of kindness, an attentive ear.
The echo of his mercy continues to resonate through the centuries, reminding believers that the call to follow Christ is a call to act with mercy. In the figure of St. Prosdocimo, we see that mercy is a bridge connecting faith with action, God’s love with human service, and heaven with earth. It is an invitation to live with an open heart, ready to welcome and give, to imitate the boundless generosity of the divine.
Greek, raised to Greek wisdom, as he heard the ‘apostle Peter preach the Gospel in Antioch, he immediately gave himself to follow him. And Peter, coming to Rome with him, ordained him a bishop when he was just, twenty years old and sent him to Padua to bring there the faith of Jesus Christ. And there his labors were crowned with splendid miracles and abundant harvest.
Appresso also Vicenza, Feltre, Este, Altino, and Asolo were the fortunate field where he sowed the divine seed. Indeed Treviso decided that he had the courage to raise even a church in honor of his master.
Among many whom he converted, he raised noise Vitalian the prefect of the province. Who, being close to succumbing to a mortal infirmity, called Prosdocimo to himself, had himself baptized by him, and…