& THE ARRIVAL OF THE FRANCISCANS TO ALLEGANYJune 20, 1855


   Panfilo Da Magliano

   Higher Education in US

   Nicholas Devereux

   Bishop Timon


   St. Bona's College

   Magliano Dei Marsi



August 22, 1824
Birthplace:  Magliano del Marsi, Italy
Family Name:  Pierbattista

Franciscan Friars first came to North America long before Saint Bonaventure's College and Seminary was founded and are known to have accompanied Christopher Columbus on his expeditions.  Wherever they traveled, they built churches and schools.  They established the first public school (1524) and the first college (1536) in America.

The Diocese of Buffalo was created in 1847.  It consisted of 16 counties with only 16 priests and 16 churches.  In 1848, Nicholas Devereux, his wife, Mary Devereux, his sons, John and Thomas and Bishop John Timon created a missionary and benevolent society.  This organization played an important role in the early history of the college in that it was given the title to the pro

In 1851, they built St. Philip Neri Church in Ellicottville, but did not have a priest to run it.  Because of the lack of priests in the area they decided to bring Franciscans to the land that Nicholas Devereux had purchased.

In 1854, Bishop Timon and Nicholas Devereux traveled to Europe to get permission from the pope to establish a community of friars in the new Buffalo diocese.  He directed them to the Irish College of Saint Isidore, where Father Pamphilus da Magliano was teaching.


Father Pamphilus, whose name can also be found spelled as Panfilo or Pamfilo, wanted very much to do missionary work  in America and finally had the chance to devote himself to his dream.  

On January 4, 1855, Bishop John Timon and Fr. Venantius a Celano, Minister General of the Franciscan Order, signed an agreement by which the Franciscans accepted an invitation to send missionaries from Italy to Allegany, New York.

This agreement stated that three priests and one lay brother would go, and that Nicholas Devereux would give 200 acres of land and $5,000 to build a monastery in the new diocese.  The bishop would provide the friars with a house near a church where the community would be established.  When naming the first friars to come to Allegany, Father Adalbert Callahan  said, "Their names are worthy of being inscribed in letters of gold: Father Pamphilus da Magliano, Father Sixtus da Gagliano, Father Samuel da Prezza, and Brother Salvator da Manarola."  

                   Group of first Friars (Fr. Pamphilus 5th from the right)

On May 5, 1855, the 3 friars and Brother Salvator received Pope Pius IX's blessing and departed from Rome for the US, where they arrived in New York on June 20.  After 12 years in the United States, Father Pamphilus was recalled to Rome in 1867 because of misjudgment made by his superiors.  Father Diomede Falconio was then placed in charge of the college and seminary.


Angelo, Mark V, O.F.M., Ph. D. The History of St. Bonaventure University.
     Saint Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute, 1961.

Callahan, Adalbert, O.F.M. Medieval Francis in Modern America, The Story of Eighty Years.
     New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936.

Hammon, Walter, O.F.M. The First Bonaventure Men. St. Bonaventure: St. Anthony
     Guild Press, 1958.

Herscher, Irenaeus, O.F.M. The History of St. Bonaventure University. St.
     Bonaventure: The Franciscan Institute, 1951. 
Introduction: Fr. Giuseppe Buffon, O.F.M., Magliano, Panfilo Da. A Sketch of the Franciscan Order.
     Bergamo, Italy: Stamperia Editrice Commerciale, 2001.
Pictures: Saint Bonaventure University Archives

This site was created by Cathy Lapp for History 419, Fall 2006.

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Last edited: 01/29/2008 08:03:39 AM