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Antonio da Fonseca Soares
(ANTONIO DAS CHAGAS).
Friar Minor and ascetical writer; b. at Vidigueira, 25 June, 1631; d. at Torres Vedras, 20 Oct., 1682. Having entered the Portuguese army as a common soldier, he was forced to flee to Bahia in Brazil, as the result of a duel. There he abandoned himself to a careless and dissolute life, but was converted through the writings of Louis of Granada and resolved to embrace the religious life. The execution of his resolution was deferred indefinitely, and having returned to Portugal, he continued to lead his former life of dissipation, until in 1662 he was taken with a grievous illness. On his recovery he hastened to fulfil his promise, and was admitted into the Franciscan Order in May of the same year, receiving in religion the name of Antonio das Chagas. He soon became famous throughout Portugal on account of his poetical and ascetical writings, in which he combined remarkable erudition with such singular elegance of style as to give him a merited place among the classics of Portugal. He died universally esteemed for his virtuous life, leaving a great part of his writings still unpublished. The following were published since his death: "Faiscas de amor divino e lagrimas da alma" (Lisbon, 1683); "Obras espirituaes" (Lisbon, 1684-1687); "O Padre nosso commentado" (Lisbon, 1688); "Espelho do Espirito em que deve verse e comporse a Olma" etc. (Lisbon, 1683); "Escola da penitencia e flagello dos peccadores" (Lisbon, 1687); "Sermoés Genuinos" etc. (Lisbon, 1690); "Cartas espirituaes" (Lisbon, 1684); "Ramilhete espiritual" etc. (Lisbon, 1722).
GODINHO, VIda do F. Antonio da Fonseca Soares (Lisbon, 1687 and 1728); DE SOLEDAD, Historia serafica da provincia de Portugal, III, 3, 17.
STEPHEN M. DONOVAN