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Saint Antonio Galvao de Franca (1739-1822)

30 November, 1999

He is the Franciscan priest whom Pope Benedict canonised during his visit to Brazil.

Early life
Born to a deeply religious family of high social status. At 13 he began studies at the Jesuit seminary in Belém, but anti-Jesuit sentiment in the region caused his family to move him to the Alcantarine Franciscans. Novice at the Saint Bonaventure friary in Macacu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 15 April 1760, making his final vows in the Order of Discalced Friars Minor in 1761. Ordained on 11 June 1762.

New foundation
Served as preacher, porter, and confessor to the local laity, and then as confessor to the Recollects of Saint Teresa in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 1769 to 1770. There he met Sister Helena Maria of the Holy Spirit who said she had visions in which Jesus was asking her to make a new foundation. Together they founded Our Lady of the Conception of Divine Providence on 2 February 1774. It was modeled after the Conceptionists, and was a home for girls who wished to live a religious life but without taking vows. When Sister Helena died in 1775, Friar Galvao served as leader for the new Recollects, supervising both spiritual development and constrution of housing for the many new sisters, and wrote their Rule. Appointed novice master in Macacu in 1781.

Failing health and death
Appointed guardian of Saint Francis Friary in Sao Paulo in 1798. Chosen definitor in 1802, he became Visitator general and president of the Chapter in 1808, but was forced to resign these positions due to failing health and the extensive travel requirements. Founded the Saint Clare friary in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo in 1811. 

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