Angelico Chavez

Angelico Chavez

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Angelico Chavez

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Reverend Fr. Fray Angelico Chavez (April 10, 1910 – March 18, 1996) was an American Franciscan priest, historian, author, poet, and painter. "Angelico" was his pen name; he also dropped the accent marks from this name.Weigle, Marta. Preface to Brothers of Light, Brothers of Blood (Sunstone Press, 2007) p. xiii.

Early life

Born the first of ten children to Fabián Chávez and María Nicolasa Roybal de Chávez in Wagon Mound, New Mexico, Chavez was baptized with the name Manuel Ezequiel. In 1912, his family moved to San Diego, California, where his father worked for the Panama-California Exposition. The missions he was exposed to in California inspired him to follow in the footsteps of Junípero Serra and the other missionaries to the Native Americans.


Returning to New Mexico, he attended public schools in Mora staffed by members of the teaching order Sisters of Loretto. In 1924, at the age of 14, Chavez was admitted to St. Francis Seminary in Mount Healthy, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.

While at the seminary, Chavez endeavored to improve his English (his second language) through a study of the classic literature of the language. He began writing fiction, essays, and other works at this time, several of which were published in the Brown and White, the student magazine he later edited.

As a member of the first class to inhabit the seminary's new dormitory, he was allowed to paint murals of Saint Francis and Saint Anthony on...
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