Vincentian Priest and Martyr: ca. 1790-1855
+ Born in Ethiopia, Michael was a highly regarded monk among a group of heretical Christians known as Monophysites. He was received into the Catholic Church by the Vincentian missionary Saint Justin de Jacobis in 1844.
+ Known as “Ghebre Michael” as a mark of respect, he dedicated himself to the Catholic mission in Ethiopia. He established a seminary for native vocations and translated theological works into three Ethiopian languages.
+ Ghebre Micahel joined the Congregation of the Missions (the Vincentians) and was ordained a priest in 1851.
+ In 1855, he was arrested with four companions (whose names have been lost to us) during a persecution by the king Negus Theodore II. After weeks of being dragged from town to town and tortured, he died in prison from abuse and ill treatment.
+ Blessed Ghebre Michael was beatified in 1926.
The Congregation of the Missions, the community of which Blessed Ghebre Michael and Saint Justin de Jacobis were members, was founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in 1625.
“Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me, says the Lord.”—Matthew 16:24
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we may follow with due devotion the faith of blessed Michael, who, for spreading the faith, merited the crown of martyrdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For a Missionary Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.