Giustino de Jacobis
Saint Giustino de Jacobis (9 October 1800 – 31 July 1860) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and professed member of the Congregation of the Mission who became a Vicar Apostolic in Ethiopia and the Titular Bishop of Nilopolis. He is also known as Justin de Jacobis.
Giustino de Jacobis
|Apostolic Vicar of Abyssinia|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||6 July 1847|
|Term ended||31 July 1860|
|Predecessor||None; position established|
|Other posts||Titular Bishop of Nilopolis (1847-1860)|
|Ordination||12 June 1824|
|Consecration||7 January 1849|
by Guglielmo Massaia
|Birth name||Giustino Sebastiano Pasquale de Jacobis|
|Born||9 October 1800|
San Fele, Potenza, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||31 July 1860 (aged 59)|
Zula, Semenawi Keih Bahri, Eritrea
|Previous post||Prefect Apostolic of Abyssinia (1839-1847)|
|Feast day||31 July|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||25 June 1939|
Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
by Pope Pius XII
|Canonized||26 October 1975|
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
by Pope Paul VI
On 17 October 1818 he entered the Congregation of the Mission at Naples and made his religious vows there on 18 October 1820. He was ordained to the priesthood at Brindisi on 12 June 1824. After spending some time in the care of souls at Oria and Monopoli he became superior first at Lecce and then at Naples.
In 1839 he was appointed as the first Prefect Apostolic of Ethiopia and entrusted with the foundation of Catholic missions there. After laboring with great success in Ethiopia for almost a decade he was appointed as the Titular Bishop of Nilopolis in 1847 and not long afterwards the Vicar Apostolic. However he refused the episcopal honor until it was forced upon him in 1849, when he received his episcopal consecration. Despite imprisonment and exile combined with other kinds of persecution from the local Ethiopian Church he founded numerous Catholic missions. Jacobis also built schools in Agame and Akele Guzay for the training of a native priesthood and in the process founding the beginnings of the Ethiopian Catholic Church and the Eritrean Catholic Church.
Jacobis befriended an Orthodox monk named Gabra Mika'el. After some time Jacobis converted his friend to Catholicism and eventually ordained him to the priesthood. Together they co-wrote a catechism and established a seminary. Gabra was imprisoned at the same time as Jacobis, but he did not survive the maltreatment by his jailers. For his martyrdom, Gabra was beatified in 1926. The pair's friendship is recognized in a preamble to Catholic prayer: "Eternal Father, through the intercession of Saint Justin de Jacobis, grant me friends who will accompany me in joy and in suffering."
The canonization process commenced in Ethiopia in 1891 in an informative process that finished in 1894. Theologians approved his writings in 1902 as being in line with the magisterium of the faith. The apostolic process then opened not long after in 1904 and concluded less than a decade later in 1913. The two processes received formal validation in Rome on 9 December 1915.
Jacobis was declared to be Venerable on 28 July 1935 after Pope Pius XI acknowledged the late bishop's life of heroic virtue. Pope Pius XII beatified him on 25 June 1939 while Pope Paul VI canonized him as a saint on 26 October 1975.
- Killion, Tom (1998). Historical Dictionary of Eritrea. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3437-5.
- "Saint Who? Saint Justin de Jacobis". Magnificat. Magnificat USA. 20 (9): 343. November 2018.
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Blessed Justin de Jacobis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Devin, A., (English trans by Lady Elizabeth Herbert of Lea), Abyssinia and its Apostle (biography) (1867) London: Burns and Oates.
- Edition of A. Devin biography
- Saint of the Day, July 31: Justin of Jacobis at SaintPatrickDC.org