( Beyond the ordinary)
Ven Fr. Agnelo D’souza
A humble, peace loving and inspiring member of the society of Pilar was born on 21 January 1869 in the village of Anjuna, Goa. It was the feast of St. Agnes and for this reason the child was named Agnelo meaning, a little lamb. He was the sixth child of his parents whom God blessed with 9 children - 8 boys and a girl. Agnelo’s, father was Miguel Arcanjo Mariano de Souza and mother Maria Sinforosa Perpetua Magalhaes. Both his parents died when Agnelo was a young boy, his father expired when Agnelo was 11 and his mother when he was 13 years old. Agnelo was a brilliant student, he began his studies in the Govt. primary school - Anjuna. He always came out with flying colours, topping his class. Later he completed 2 years of Latin language. Agnelo started his philosophy and secured the highest marks in every examination. He began his theological studies in the Seminary of Rachol. He was a person of studious habits, he secured the much coveted and singular distinction of “accessit” in his final year of theology. For 3 years Agnelo taught Latin and Portuguese. Meanwhile his desire to be a missionary increased and he joined the Society of Pilar on 17th July 1897. He made his first profession as a member of the Society of Pilar, on the 22nd May 1898. He was ordained Priest on 24th September 1899.Fr. Agnelo was a Pastor, Preacher, Confessor and Spiritual Guide. His legacy - living a holy exemplary life. Fr. Agnelo was deeply sensitive to the spiritual and material needs of his brethren. He was a Saintly Preacher, he lived what he preached. His very appearance was a living sermon. He was God-filled , a God-lived, a God-loved, a God shared and a God-served life. He lived the values of Jesus the Master. Just like a candle, he burnt himself to give light to others.He fell through the pulpit while preaching on the Vespers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the next morning he died on 20th November 1927. All God seekers find in him a man gripped by God, touched by God, elevated by God. He is a model for his brethren and their intercessor before God in their needs, sufferings, sickness, failures, troubles and difficulties.
Sayings of Ven. Fr. Agnelo
“Trust in God and rest like a dog at the feet of his master”.
“It is not the clothing that honour the man but his virtues”.
“If we want to draw a profit from our body we have to keep it under the yoke and under the rod”.
“Our devotions must be disinterested and not like that of the pagans who only care for the worldly interests”.
“It is difficult to love this world and to save our souls.”
“One who lives according to the rule, lives according to God”.
“One who fulfils his duties faithfully is on the way to perfection”.
“Without continual divine breathing, we would be reduced to nothing”.
“We ought to be saints to attain our goal”.
“In order to become a saint one must suffer much and talk little”.
“By amusing ourselves we cannot reach heaven, the saints were not fools to do penance.
“One must not leave off a good action on account of the criticism of others”.
“Each time we go to confession, we should consider it to be the last in our life”.
“Our willingness to pray, to do good works, and to become virtuous, are gifts of God”.
“We ought to obey our Superiors, even if they were of wood”.
“It is difficult to love this world and to save our soul”.