Blessed Ghebre-Michael was born about 1790. Due to an injury that resulted in the loss of one eye, he was considered unfit for most work. He showed acumen in his studies and eventually entered a monastery. He was not preparing for ordination, rather he focused his studies on the history of monasticism and monastic reform. As a result of his studies, he realized that in order to continue, he must travel to Jerusalem. He joined a group of Orthodox Coptics who were travelling to Jerusalem. The entourage included Fr. Justin de Jacobis, C.M., and after some time, Ghebre-Michael became a disciple of Jacobis.
Jacobis mentored Ghebre-Michael for many years, receiving him into the Catholic Church in 1844 and ordaining him a priest on January 1, 1851.
The Orthodox Bishop in the area had great distrust and animosity toward Catholics, especially Justin and Ghebre-Michael. In July 1851, they and several Ethiopian converts were arrested and tortured. The torture continued when the new Emperor of Ethiopia was crowned in February 1855. Ghebre-Michael succumbed to the effects of the torture and died in August 1855. His unmarked grave has not been found.
A date had been fixed for him to begin his internal seminary, but when the fixed day arrived he was under arrest and died before he could carry out his intention. In a letter to the Superior General, Jean-Baptiste Etienne, Jacobis explained all this but said that he still called Ghebre-Michael a Vincentian, “because in his heart he already belonged to the Congregation.”
Ghebre Michael was beatified as a martyr in 1926.