VENERABLE FR. AGNELO’S BIRTH AND HIS FAMILY
Agnelo Gustavo Adolfo was born on Wednesday, January 21, 1869, at 1900 hrs IST, in Gaumvaddi, Anjuna, Bardez, Goa, western coast of the Arabian Sea. His father, Minguel Arcanjo Mariano de Souza (1826-1880) and mother Maria Sinforosa Perpetua Magalhães (1834-1882), both from Anjuna, were married on May 9, 1854. They were blessed with eight boys and one girl:
1) JOSÉ VICTOR FILIPE QUEROBINO (August 4, 1856-March 7, 1857)
2) MANUEL CRISOSTOMO CANDIDO ARISTIDES F.C. (December 27, 1857-January 13, 1931)
3) QUEROBINO JOSÉ VICTOR (December 8, 1860-August 5, 1906)
4) FLAVIANO ISMAIL CONSTANTINO SANTANA (October 3, 1863-1865)
5) ANGELO INAUDINO EUFEMIANO JOÃO (July 21, 1866-November 30, 1934)
6) AGNELO GUSTAVO ADOLFO (January 21, 1869-November 20, 1927)
7) FLAVIANO ISMAEL SANTANA (February 22, 1871-April 17, 1902)
8) Ms. ADAMANTINA ELISA GRASMILDA (July 23, 1873-January 29, 1984)
9) JOÃO FILIPE SERGIO F. FRANCISCO de CONCEICÃO (March 24, 1876-March 11, 1926)
Twenty three days later Agnelo being weak in health was baptized on February 13, 1869 by Fr. João Batista de Souza, and his godfather was Gustavo Adolfo of Arpora and Anna Piedade from Anjuna. His day of birth coincided with the feast of St Agnes; hence, his parents named him Agnelo. He was the sixth child among nine.
His parents played a crucial role in bringing up their children in the fear of God surrounded during those periods. The middle class family worked on fields and managed a small farming area on which their livelihood depended.
His mother was educated (Portuguese education) with a natural gift in music and played piano and violin; hence, it is noted that she may have devoted her time more in the church affairs. Besides her music talent, she was a tailor and had a fair amount of experience in embroidery and this also may be one of the ways they generated income for a family of 11. Skeptics say she used all her talents for free to the village children and their house always remained packed from day to night due to catechism.
During these secessions, Agnelo became engrossed or enlightened to read the holy scriptures, giving due importance to the church services and later taking initiative to teach others. His holy future was predicted during this period by his close relative Fr. Lazaro Souza.
At the age of 8, Agnelo received the first Holy Communion, which was unusual in those days of his age, and until death he received it daily and devoted his time reconciling on every Thursday before the Holy Sacrament.
At the age of 11, his father died and two years later his mother who was suffering from unknown illness understood her time to leave for the heavenly abode. She summoned all her children at her death bed and informed them about her end. She then pointed her finger to the picture of Virgin Mary, hanging above her head and said: “From now onwards She will be your mother, and you ask all your needs to her and she will fulfill it to you.” And thus she departed leaving behind all the children orphans at a very young age.
All the children were then under the custody of their paternal uncle, and after his death their eldest brother Manuelino who was a priest undertook the charge. On November 17, 1883 he received the Sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Patriarch and Archbishop of Goa, Dom Antonio Valente.
Let us continue to pray ardently for his early beatification.
Gaumvaddy, Anjuna, Goa
[As forwarded to gaspar almeida, http://www.goa-world.com/
by Mr. Domnic Fernandes].