St. Antonio of Saint Anne Galvao (1739-1822)

St. Antonio de SantAnna Galvao
Today, October 25th, the universal Church honors St. Antonio de SantAnna Galvao, Franciscan priest/friar, preacher, confessor and porter.
Antonio was born in Guarantingueta near Sao Paul, Brazil.  He initially began to study for the priesthood at a Jesuit seminary, but thereafter changed his mind and became an ordained Franciscan priest/friar in 1762 in Sao Paulo.
He performed all of his priestly duties, which included in part, preaching and serving as a confessor and porter.  Approximately four years into his priesthood, he was appointed as the confessor to an order of nuns called the Recollects of St. Teresa.  Father Antonio and Sister Helena Maria of the Holy Spirit founded a new community of sisters called the nuns of Our Lady of the Conception of Divine Providence.  Sadly, Sister Helena died within a year of the founding of the order, which left Father Antonio to assist the order in the building of a convent and church, to suit the many ladies who joined.  He also founded the St. Clare Friary in Sorocaba and also helped establish the sisters’ order called the Recolhimento de Nossa Senhora da Luz.
He served as a Novice Master for the friars in Macacu and a guardian at the St. Francis  Friary in Sao Paulo.
He died when he was 83 years of age, was beatified in Rome on October 25, 1998 and canonized in 2007.  At his beatification, Pope John Paul II, now known as St. John Paul the Great, said this about Father Antonio:
“The Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the word fully,” (Timothy 4:17).  Antonio fulfilled his religious consecration by dedicating himself with love and devotion to the afflicted, the suffering and the slaves of his era in Brazil. . . His authentically Franciscan faith, evangelically lived and apostolically spent in serving his neighbor, will be an encouragement to imitate this man of peace and charity.
Dear St. Antonio, help us to lead others to Our Lord Jesus Christ as you did, and to not be afraid to be true to our Faith and to serve the Mystical Body of Christ each day of our lives.  You worked very hard for Jesus because of your great love for him.  Please help us to work as hard as you did, with joy amidst suffering.

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One response to “St. Antonio of Saint Anne Galvao (1739-1822)

  1. Thank you, Joan, for this reminder that amidst the darkness, there are lights to inspire us. Here’s another tidbit about St. Antonio:
    When he became a Franciscan in 1761, he took a to defend the Blessed Virgin Mary’s title of the “Immaculate,” which at that time was still a controversial doctrine.

     

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