Justin de Jacobis

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Saint Justin de Jacobis
Born 9 October 1800
San Fele, Italy
Died 31 July 1860
Hebo, Ethiopia
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Canonized 1975 by Pope Paul VI
Feast July 31

Saint Justin de Jacobis (9 October 1800 – 31 July 1860) was an Italian Lazarist missionary who became Vicar Apostolic of Abyssinia and titular Bishop of Nilopolis.


He was born at San Fele, Province of Potenza in southern Italy. On 17 October 1818, he entered the Congregation of the Lazarists at Naples, took vows there on 18 October 1820, and was ordained priest 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, then at Naples.

In 1839 he was appointed first Prefect Apostolic of Ethiopia and entrusted with the foundation of Catholic missions in that country. After laboring with great success in Ethiopia for eight years, he was made titular Bishop of Nilopolis in 1847, and shortly afterwards Vicar Apostolic, but he refused the episcopal dignity until it was finally forced upon him in 1849. Despite imprisonment, exile and every other kind of persecution from the local Ethiopian Church, he founded numerous Catholic missions, built schools in Agame and Akele Guzay, Eritrea[1] for the training of a native clergy, founding the beginnings of the Ethiopian Catholic Church.

He died at Hebo in the Aligide Valley,[1] while on his way to Halai (in modern Eritrea) where he hoped to regain his health.


The process of his beatification was introduced on 13 July 1904. He was canonized in 1975 by Pope Paul VI.


  1. ^ a b Killion, Tom (1998). Historical Dictionary of Eritrea. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3437-5. 


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.