Amadeus (or Amedius) of Portugal

Amadeus (Or Amedius) Of Portugal was a Franciscan, whose real name was Joao de Mendez, son of Rodrigo Gomez de Sylva and Isabella, his wife, both of high birth. He was born about 1420, and married at eighteen, but left his bride the instant he was married, and went into Spain, where he fought against the Moors under John II. Determined after this to embrace the monastic state, he became a hermit of St. Jerome. In 1452 he joined the order of the Franciscans and went to Italy. In Perugia and Assisi he was at first refused, till in 1455 the new general of the order received him as a lay-brother. He soon attracted attention on account of his austere penance and wonderful power of prayer. He then connected himself with some others for the purpose of observing most rigidly the rules of St. Francis. Having received holy orders in 1459, he was permitted to build convents of the regular observance at Cremona, Brescia, and Milan. In the latter place he succeeded, by the help of the duke as well as with that of the archbishop, in founding the monastery of Maria della Pace in 1469. When the general, Francis of Rovere, was elected to the see of St. Peter's, under the name of Sixtus IV (q.v.), the society was presented with the monastery and Church of St. Peter's at Rome, while Amadeus was elected confessor to the pope. Here he spent ten years, highly honored by the pope, princes, and ecclesiastical dignitaries. In 1482 he betook himself to visit the convents in Lombardy, when he was taken sick, and died, Aug. 10, in the Monastery of Maria della Pace. His successors worked in the same spirit, and soon convents of the Amedians were founded all over Italy and Spain. Under pope Pius V the Amedians, by means of an apostolic constitution, dated Jan. 23,1568, were united with other orders. A Book of Prophecies filled with the most idle reveries, many of them opposed to sound doctrine, has been attributed to Amadeus. See Wadding, Annal. Minor.; Helyot (ed. Migne), 7; Tossin, Histor. Seraph. fol. 156; Grammer, in Wetzer u. Welte's Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v. (B. P.)

 
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