Father Raimundo Beirão

Fr. Raimundo dos Anjos Beirão, an apostolic missionary, was born in Lisbon, in the parish of Socorro, on March 8, 1810. With an open, joyful, and upright spirit, from a very young age he bore witness to his great love for God and neighbour, knowing how to care for all the poor and needy with profound simplicity, goodness, and great trust in Divine Providence.

He made his profession in the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi, in the Convent of Our Lady of Jesus, Lisbon, taking the name of Fr. Raimundo de Santa Maria dos Anjos. On March 2, 1833, he was ordained a priest. Harboring in his heart the feeling for true charity, he became for Portugal what Vincent de Paul had been for the France of his time.

Persecuted for liberal ideas, he too was the victim of the anti-religious furor that expelled him from the convent in May 1834. However, the vivacity of his temperament, his determined spirit, and his constant zeal for the cause of God and the needy, did not allow him to rest for long. He entered the struggle for life with another dynamism and apostolic streak, which made him run tirelessly to wherever there is some good to be done.

That same year, in 1834, he was appointed Chaplain of the Royal Navy. He was also Chaplain of the Recollection of Our Lady of the Rose, an institution dedicated to the shelter of unprotected and abandoned children. Early in his priestly life, he created in Lisbon the Association of Sons of St. Cajetan, aimed at the instruction and catechization of poor boys who, in turn, were dedicated to the assistance of the needy. Fr. Beirão was also in charge of sending young people with vocations to the Portuguese College of Rome to prepare for the priesthood.

He achieved fame as a sacred orator, preaching almost all over the country, and assisted the community of the Capuchins of Our Lady of the Conception, of Aldeia Galega (now Montijo, Ribatejo), which later became the origin of the Congregation. He died in the Convent of Trinas, on July 13, 1878, at the age of 68, a victim of malignant disease.