The Catholic Defender: Blessed Luke Belludi
Luca Belludi (between 1200 and 1210 – 17 February 1286) was an Italian Franciscan friar from Padua.
Belludi is said to have been vested into the order by Francis of Assisi himself at age 25.
He attended Padua University and was ordained priest in 1227.
In 1220, Saint Anthony (1195-1231) was preaching conversion to the inhabitants of Padua when a young nobleman, Luke Belludi, came up to him and humbly asked to receive the habit of the followers of Saint Francis.
In 1220, Saint Anthony was preaching conversion to the inhabitants of Padua when a young nobleman, Luke Belludi, came up to him and humbly asked to receive the habit of the followers of Saint Francis. Anthony liked the talented, well-educated Luke and personally recommended him to Francis, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.
Luke, then only 20, was to be Anthony’s companion in his travels and in his preaching, tending to him in his last days and taking Anthony’s place upon his death.
He became a close friend of Anthony of Padua, taking an active part in his prayers and assisting him to draft his sermons.
Luke, then only 20, was to be Anthony’s companion in his travels and in his preaching, tending to him in his last days and taking Anthony’s place upon his death. He was appointed guardian of the Friars Minor in the city of Padua. In 1239, the city fell into the hands of its enemies. Nobles were put to death, the mayor and council were banished, the great university of Padua gradually closed and the church dedicated to Saint Anthony was left unfinished. Luke himself was expelled from the city but secretly returned.
St Anthony chose Friar Luke as his companion in the numerous missions which he gave from that time until 1231 at Padua, Rimini, and elsewhere. Blessed Luke made wonderful progress in religious perfection under the skillful direction of St Anthony, whose apostolic labors he continued after the death of the latter.
At night he and the new guardian would visit the tomb of Saint Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night a voice came from the tomb assuring them that the city would soon be delivered from its evil tyrant.
After the night office he and the new guardian frequently spent some time in prayer at St Anthony’s tomb, begging him to come to the assistance of the good city of Padua. One evening as these two holy persons were praying in the chapel dedicated to the saint, a voice suddenly issued from the tomb, assuring them that their prayer was heard, that the city was shortly to be delivered from its tyrannical master. The prediction was verified on June nineteenth.
After the fulfillment of the prophetic message, Luke was elected provincial minister and furthered the completion of the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher. He founded many convents of the order and had, as Anthony, the gift of miracles. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish and has had a continual veneration up to the present time.
Because of his great prudence, Blessed Luke Belludi was elected provincial minister, and as such founded many convents of his order. He was also instrumental in furthering the completion of the basilica of St Anthony. God granted him the gift of miracles and confirmed his sanctity even in this life.
Bl. Luke Belludi was a companion to St Francis on many missions and then helped St. Anthony at Padua, continuing on with his work after St. Anthony died. He endured much persecution from the new rulers of Padua. Many miracles were attributed to him before and after his death.
Belludi saw to the completion of the magnificent Paduan basilica in honor of St. Anthony, and it is there that Bl. Luke’s remains were put to rest in 1285 – in close proximity to the earthly remains of his saintly role model.
Pope Pius XI beatified him on 18 May 1927.
The veneration accorded to Blessed Luke from the time of his death was continually increased, and Pope Pius XI added his name to the list of the beatified.