March 13

Bl. Agnello of Pisa

Blessed Agnello of Pisa

Early Life

Blessed Agnello of Pisa, Also called Blessed Agnellus, was an Italianmember of the Franciscan Order. There is not much information about hisearly life.

What is known about him today is probably thanks to the writing of aFriar Minor called Thomas.

Blessed Agnello was born around 1195 in Pisa, Republic of Pisa. He wassaid to be a member of a noble Italian family.

What he did in his early life before joining the Order is obscure. It ishowever known that he was a devout young man that believed he had acalling.

Circa 1212, Blessed Agnello joined the Seraphic Order. He had theprivilege to be welcomed by Saint Francis who was visiting Pisa at thattime.

Saint Francis sent Agnello down to the Friary in Paris. There he was aninstructor for minor Friars.

In 1214 when he had been made deacon, Blessed Agnellus was instructed togo to Paris by Saint Francis.

Dedication and Devotion

At Paris, Agnello was made custodian. He served for a while beforereturning to Italy.

He was once again asked by Saint Francis to become the head of the Orderin the English Province in England.

Blessed Agnello was sent out with eight other deacons on the 10th ofSeptember, 1224. They had left with no money and when they arrived atDover, their entrance fee was settled by monks of the Abbey at Fecamp.

They made their way to Canterbury where they were warmly received. Theirfood was dey bread and thick beer but they never complained. In thewinter, it got extremely cold but they never grumbled.

They continued through to Oxford. Wherever Blessed Agnello and thedeacons stopped, they were received with great hospitality.

When they arrived at Oxford, King Henry III provided them with land fortheir Friary. There, Blessed Agnello built a school for the Friars. Thisinstitution was meant to cater to the educational needs of the Friarsunder his government.

He appointed Robert Grosseteste as theology Lector of the institution.It is widely believed that this institution played an important role inthe establishment of Oxford University.

Blessed Agnellus spent his time praying, preaching, and training theFriars to be dedicated to God.


Not only was Agnello devoted to religion, but he was also humble andlevel-headed. He was revered for his holiness and tactfulness.

In that period, King Henry III and Richard Marshal had a disagreementthat had managed to blossom into a civil war. In order to put the war toan end, King Henry III invited Agnello to help put an end to thedispute.

Blessed Agnello agreed and became a part of the representation ofEnglish Bishops at Curia.

Agnello might have been soft-spoken but he had strict rules concerningpoverty. For example, he kept a tight hold on lands. Unless verynecessary, he would not allow any land to be expanded or any house to bebuilt.

This Rule was not relaxed until Haymo came into authority.

Death and Canonization

It is said that the years of strict penance took a toll on BlessedAgnello’s health. He had been in Italy for religious purposes and on hisreturn fell ill with dysentery.

Blessed Agnello died on the 7th of May in 1236. He was buried at Oxford.

He was validated in 1882 by Pope Leo XIII. In a book by Eccleston, it iswritten that Blessed Agnello’s relics lay interrupted at Oxford untilthe destruction of the church.

Blessed Agnello is celebrated by the Franciscans on the 7th of May. Heis also remembered on the 10th of September by English Franciscans.

5 Interesting Facts About Blessed Agnello of Pisa

  1. Did you know that Blessed Agnello was imitated by dignified English
  2. Did you know that Blessed Agnello spent most of his time in
  3. Did you know that Blessed Agnello cried “Come, Sweetest Jesus.”
    for three days for he died?
  4. Did you know that Blessed Agnello is celebrated in the Archdiocese
    of Birmingham?
  5. Did you know that Blessed Agnello was not learned?

Prayer to Blessed Agnello of Pisa

O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you, dowe raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession inobtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and gracesnecessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the graceof a happy death, and the special favor we now implore (..state yourpetition..). O Guardian of the Word Incarnate, we have confidence thatyour prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne ofGod. Amen.