St. Agathangelo Noury

Feastday: August 7

Death: 1638

 

Martyr and reformer, a Franciscan missionary, also called Agathangelus. He was born Francis at Vendome, France, and entered the Capuchin monastery in Le Mans. He was ordained a priest in 1625. Agathangelo was sent to Aleppo, Syria, where he became known as an Arabic scholar, publishing Catholic works in Arabic. In 1633 he was sent to Cairo and was joined there by Father Cassian LopezNeto. Together they worked to bring the Coptic Christians into communion with Rome. Their efforts, including a Coptic Synod, went unrewarded because the Catholics of Cairo were known for their dissolute life styles. Agathangelo attempted to excommunicate the more notorious of these Europeans who held the Church up to ridicule. He and Father Cassian then went to Ethiopia to establish a mission there. In 1638, both were arrested in Dibarua, near Suakim, victims of a campaign launched by a Lutheran physician with connections to the Ethiopian court. King Gondar tried them and found them guilty of interfering with Ethiopian religious matters. The two were hanged by the cords of their Franciscan habits. They were beatified in 1905.

 

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