Saint of the Day – Blessed Amadeus of Portugal O.F.M. (1420–1482) Religious, Reformer, Miracle-Worker and Confessor – he was a Portuguese nobleman who became first a monk, then left that life to become a friar of the Franciscan Order. He is also known as Amadeus Menez de Silva, Amedeus…., João de Menezes da Silva, João Mendes de Silva, Peter John Silva Meneses. Later he became a reformer of that Order, which led to his founding of a distinct branch of the Friars Minor that was named after him, later suppressed by the Pope in order to unite them into one great family of Friars Minor Observants (1568). Born in 1420 in Morocco as João de Menezes da Silva and died on 10 August 1482 in Milan, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – against fever (water from a spring at his monastery was reported to heal fever patients).
Blessed Amadeus began his religious life in the Hieronnymite monastery of Notre-Dame de Guadalupe (Spain), where he spent about ten years. Desirous of joining the Franciscans, he went to Italy, where after some delay he was received into the order and, living in various convents, chiefly at Milan, attracted attention by his virtue and miracles.
Under the protection of the Archbishop of Milan, he established the convent of Notre-Dame de la Paix (1469) which became the centre of a Franciscan reform. The minister general of the order Francesco della Rovere, later pope under the name of Sixtus IV, extended his protection to him. Other foundations were made in Italy, among them one in Rome.
Supernatural favours obtained through his intercession aided in the spread of his cult, he was known as ‘blessed’ long before his death. He composed a yet published treatise entitled “De revelationibus et prophetiis”, two copies of which are mentioned by Nicholas Antonio. The work of another Amadeus, “Homilies on the Blessed Virgin”, has been erroneously attributed to him.
The convents he founded continued after his death to form a distinct branch of the Franciscans, the friars were called the Amadeans or Amadists and they had twenty-eight houses in Italy, the chief one, Saint Peter de Montorio, in Rome. Pope Innocent VIII gave them the convent of Saint Genesto near Cartagena in Spain (1493). The successors of Blessed Amadeus, preserved his foundation in its original spirit until Saint Pius V suppressed it along with similar branches of the Franciscan Order and united them into one great family of Friars Minor Observants in 1568.
Blessed Amadeus’ remains are interred under the high altar of his monastery in Milan.