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Angelus à Sancto Francisco (DNB00)


ANGELUS À SANCTO FRANCISCO (1601–1678), was the name assumed in religion by Richard Mason, D.D., a learned Franciscan of the Strict Observance, whom Dodd in his ‘Church History’ by mistake divides into two distinct persons. He was born in England—probably in Yorkshire—in 1601, joined the Franciscan Order in 1624, entered the ranks of the priesthood four years later, and was created the second Doctor of Divinity of the restored English Province. He filled in succession in his Order the offices of definitor or consultor, guardian of the house of English Recollet friars at Douay, professor of divinity there, confessor to the nuns of the Order of St. Francis, missionary, president, provincial, commissary, and lastly provincial of his brethren from April 1659 till April 1662. It appears that for a time he was chaplain at Wardour, the seat of the Arundels, and the focus of Catholicism in Wiltshire. Worn out with missionary labours, he at length obtained permission to quit England, and to retire, in 1675, to St. Bonaventure's Convent at Douay, where he died 30 Dec. 1678. It is stated in the Franciscan Annals that Angelus à S. Francisco was Dean of Emly, in Ireland, before he joined the Order, but this is highly improbable. His works, many of which are of extreme rarity, are fully enumerated by the Rev. Dr. George Oliver in the ‘Rambler’ for July 1850. The most interesting are:

1. ‘Liber Sacrorum Privilegiorum, quondam Seraphico Patri Sancto Francisco indultorum, &c.’ Douay, 1633. 2. ‘Regula et Testamentum S. Francisci,’ &c., with a treatise ‘De Confraternitate Chordæ’ and ‘Manuale Tertii Ordinis S. Francisci.’ These were printed at Douay, in Latin, 1643; and in the same year there issued from the same press his translation into English of the Manual, dedicated to the Dowager Lady Elizabeth Rivers. The translation of the work on the Confraternity is entitled ‘A Manuell of the Arch-Confraternitie of the Cord of the Passion, institvted in the Seraphicall Order of S. Francis. Wherein is conteyned an ample Declaration of most things concerning this Confraternitie. Together with many profitable instructions, how Christians may satisfie for their Sinnes by the meanes of Indulgences: not unproper also for all such, as through deuotion, doe enroll themselues in any other Confraternitie. By Br. Angelus Francis, the least of the Frier Minors Recollects.’ 2nd edit. Douay, 1654. 12mo. Dedicated to the Lady Anne Howard. 3. ‘The Rule of Penance of the Seraphical F. St. Francis, as approved and confirmed by Leo X.’ 2 vols. Douay, 1644. 4. ‘Certamen Seraphicvm Provinciæ Angliæ pro Sancta Dei Ecclesia. In quo breviter declaratur, quomodo Fratres Minores Angli calamo & sanguine pro Fide Christi Sanctaque eius Ecclesia certarunt.’ Douay, 1649, 4to, a valuable historical and bibliographical work of 356 pages, finely printed and embellished with portraits. 5. ‘Apologia pro Scoto Anglo. In qua defenditur D. Ioannes Pitseus in sua relatione, de loco Nativitatis Subtilis Doctoris F. Ioannis Scoti: & rejectis argumentis adversæ partis, maximè R.P. Ioannis Colgani Hiberni, Scotum fuisse Anglum natione ostenditur.’ Douay, 1656. 12mo. 6. ‘A Liturgical Discourse of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,’ in two parts, of which, strange to say, the second part was printed first in 1669, and the first in the following year, with a dedication to Henry, third Lord Arundel of Wardour.

[Wadding's Scriptores Ord. Minorum (1806); Oliver's Collections illustrative of the Catholic Religion in Cornwall, &c. (1857), pp. 229, 541; The Rambler, July 1850, vi. 14; Dodd's Church History (1737), iii. 100, 113; Ware's Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, 336; Lowndes's Bibl. Manual, ed. Bohn, i. 44; Duthillœul's Bibliographie Douaisienne, 91.]

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