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St. Agnellus of Pisa

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Feastday: March 13
Death: 1236

Franciscan founder and diplomat. He was born in Pisa, a member of the noble Agnelli clan. St. Francis of Assisi personally received Agnellus into his order and sent him to Paris to start a Franciscan mission there. Agnellus also attended the "Chapter of Mats" and was then sent by St. Francis to England. Agnellus was only a deacon at the time. He and nine other Franciscans landed in Dover on September 12, 1224. They obtained a house in Oxford and began the Franciscan English Province. He became a friend of King Henry Ill (r. 1216-1272), who admired the saint's purity and holiness, calling upon Agnellus to avert a civil war between the throne and the Earl Marshal. Agnellus worked to calm the situation, contracting a serious illness in the process. He died in Oxford on May 7, 1236, and the body remained incorrupt, venerated in Oxford until the reign of King Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547) and the dissolution of the English religious houses. Pope Leo XIII declared Agnellus' beatification in 1882.

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