Angelus, also known as Angelo of Jerusalem, was born to Jewish parents who had converted to Catholicism in the twelfth century. When he was a teenager, he and his twin brother joined a group of hermits and founded the first Carmelite house with the rule drawn up by Blessed Albert. He was sent to evangelize in Sicily and was very successful in converting many Sicilian Jews to the faith. His success, however, caused great persecution from the Jews and pagans who had not converted.
One of his converts was a woman who was in an incestuous relationship with her rich and powerful brother. Through the preaching of Angelus, this woman came to realize the sinfulness of her actions, repented and converted to Catholicism. This angered her brother and he contrived with a group of heretics to murder Angelus. This murder took place in 1220 at Licate in Sicily when Angelus was stabbed to death.
St. Angelus’ relics were transferred to the Carmelite Church at Licate.
St. Angelus is often depicted in art wearing a Carmelite habit with a knife in his head and a sword in his chest, holding a book and three crowns. He has also been represented with an angel bringing him three crowns while he is tied to a tree shot through with arrows with lilies and roses falling from his mouth.
St. Angelus, we thank you for your courage in defending the true faith and not backing down in the face of sin. You saved many lives in your preaching and teaching of the faith. We pray you will guide us to do the same. We ask for your intervention for us to be brave in the face of sin and not back away from our call as Christians to lovingly rebuke those in error and bring them to the fullness of faith. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Pius V (1572), Pope
St. Jutta (Judith) (9th Century), Patroness of Prussia