St. Angelus of Jerusalem

St. Angelus of Jerusalem (1185 – 5 May 1220) was a Catholic convert from Judaism and a professed priest of the Carmelites. He and his twin brother were converted to the faith once their mother did so while both became ordained priests and Carmelite friars. Unlike his brother, he retreated into the desert to a hermitage after his ordination, but he emerged once he was instructed to go to the Italian mainland to evangelize as well as to meet with Pope Honorius III to have him approve a new rule for the Carmelites. While preaching in Sicily, he wanted to convert a Cathar knight named Berenger. Tradition states that Berenger was living in incest and that the friar convinced the knight’s companion to leave Berenger. Berenger became enraged and had him attacked in front of the church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo in Licata on May 1st, 1220. He died of his wounds on May 5th and according to tradition asked for his assassin to be pardoned while urging the faithful not to avenge his death. He was buried at Santi Filippo e Giacomo.

The Carmelites venerated him as a saint until during his pontificate Pope Pius II beatified the slain priest circa 1459.


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