Bls. Agathangelus & Cassian – Aug 07 – Homily – Fr John Lawrence

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Fr John Lawrence gives the homily at Bloomington, IN, on Aug 07, 2023, on the lives of Bls. Agathangelus and Cassian, who worked to unify Coptic Christians with Rome, and won the crown of martyrdom.

Blessed Agathangelus and Cassian, Capuchin martyrs, endeavored to unite the Ethiopian Church with the Pope. Agathangelus, born 1598 in Vendôme, France, got acquainted with Capuchins early and became a priest in 1625. He worked in Aleppo, Lebanon, to foster Catholic unity and was known as the Apostle of Lebanon. In 1633, he was sent to Egypt for a new mission.

Blessed Cassian, born in Nantes, France, aspired for martyrdom. After serving plague victims in Rennes, he joined Agathangelus in 1633 in Egypt. They aimed to merge the Copts with the Catholic Church, addressing the Monophysitism that was declared a heresy by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when it definitively proclaimed that Christ has two natures.

Their main task was to unite the Ethiopian segment of the Coptic Church to Rome, continuing the Jesuits' endeavors. In 1636, with endorsements from the Coptic Patriarch, they proceeded to Ethiopia. However, in 1637 they were imprisoned in Gondar due to the influence of Pierre Léon, a deceitful Lutheran monk. St. Cassian declared their Catholic faith in Amharic. Without proper tools for execution, the missionaries offered their waist cords for hanging. As they dangled, they were pelted with stones until they fell and were buried beneath. That night, a luminous column arose from the pile of stones.

Their martyrdom's legacy persisted until the 1800s when another Capuchin, Venerable Guglielmo Massaia, uncovered their story, leading to their beatification in 1905.

00:00 – Introduction: Bls. Agathangelus & Cassian's Mission
00:19– Life of Bl. Agathangelus
02:34 – Bl. Cassian's Background and Calling
03:46 – The Capuchin Mission in Egypt and Ethiopia
05:19 – Journey to Ethiopia and Unexpected Captivity
06:28 – Accusations, Trial, and Martyrdom

Ave Maria!

Mass: Bls. Agathangelus and Cassian - Opt Mem - https://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/blessed-agathangel-and-cassian.html
Readings: Monday 18th Week of Ordinary Time - http://usccb.org/bible/readings/080723.cfm
1st: num 11:4-15
Resp: psa 81:12-17
Gsp: mat 14:13-21

More on the Readings: https://airmaria.com/r?m=692&r=1462

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