Remembering Padre Agnel
The Venerable Father Agnelo Gustavo Adolfo de Souza, S.F.X., a true shepherd of souls, was born on 21st January 1869, in Anjuna, Goa. He was the sixth child to Miguel Arcanjo de Souza and Maria Sinforosa Perpetua Magalhães and had seven brothers and a sister. His love and commitment to God began as a young child.
He studied philosophy and theology at the Patriarchal Seminary at Rachol. On 17th July 1897, he joined the Diocesan Missionary Society of St. Francis Xavier of Pilar, ordained a deacon on 18th December 1897 and was ordained a priest on 24th September 1898.
Padre Agnel was very humble and down to earth. He would visit houses, was concerned about the needs of his parishioners, cared for their sick and consoled the afflicted and downtrodden.
He preached his last, nine-day Novena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at that Seminary; fell on the pulpit while preaching the last sermon on the Vespers of the same, and died a few hours later at dawn of 20th November 1927. Eleven years after death, Fr. Agnelo’s bones were transferred from the cemetery in Rachol to the Pilar Monastery on 10th January 1939.
His process of Canonization was started in Rome in 1947. All formalities done, he was declared Venerable after the approval of the Apostolic process of his life and virtues on 10-11-1986. The last process of Miracles is yet to be finalized.
This November 20th, we celebrate his 88th death anniversary.