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St. Daniel, Patron Saint of Prisoners

Saint Daniel of Padua was an Italian Jew who converted to Christianity. He eventually became a missionary, and converted many. He and Saint Prosdocimus are said to have won North-East Italy for Christ. Daniel was arrested and executed by a local governor on account of Daniel's refusal to sacrifice to the Emperor. Saint Daniel is the patron saint of prisoners.

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Saint Daniel was born into a Jewish family in what is today Northern Italy, during the 2nd Century AD. After hearing of Christ he grew curious, and wanted to know more about His teachings. After meeting with some Christians and reading the New Testament, he was instantly converted and became a committed Christian.

This was not a good time to be a Christian. Christians were regularly persecuted, and were often the victim of attacks by pagans. Daniel was also victimized by the Jewish community because he had renounced the faith of his fathers.
Daniel studied the scriptures and was eventually made a Deacon of the Church in Padua. After some time, he met Saint Prosdocimus. He was a Greek from the east, who was sent to Padua to serve as bishop to the Christian community.

Prosdocimus was a zealous missionary. After re-organizing the Christian community in Padua, he and Daniel embarked on an ambitious evangelizing effort in the countryside. Daniel proved to be a gifted missionary, and won many souls for Christ. He founded many churches in the rural areas. He often worked together with Prosdocimus; together they are credited with winning North-East Italy for Christ.
Daniel’s missionary works brought him to the attention of the local governor. He had him arrested, and when Daniel refused to sacrifice to the Emperor, he was ordered to be executed. Daniel, before his death, was tortured to reveal the whereabouts of Bishop Prosdocimus, but he did not divulge his location. This allowed the bishop to return safely to Padua and carry on his pastoral duties.

Daniel was eventually beheaded after Roman soldiers had been unable to burn him to death.
Some local Christians recovered the body of Daniel and secretly gave him a burial.

Many centuries later, his body was recovered. Daniel's relics, translated on January 3, 1064, lie in the Cathedral of Padua. Daniel's relics were then buried next to Saint Prosdocimus. Soon after his burial in the Cathedral of Padua, many miracles were reported. Daniel was especially revered during the Middle Ages.

Daniel is invoked by women whose husbands are at war, and is also invoked during confinement.