A Jesuit missionary; b. at Lisbon, c. 1569; d. at Goa, 12 November, 1642. About 1602 he was sent to India, whence two years later he went to Abyssinia, where he soon won favour with King Melek Seghed. This monarch, converted to the Faith in 1622, after the arrival of the Latin patriarch, for whom he had petitioned the Holy See, publcly acknowledged the primacy of the Roman See and constituted Catholicism the State religion (1626). For a time innumerable conversions were made, the monarch in his zeal resorting even to compulsory measures. The emperor's son, however, took sides with the schismatics, headed a rebellion, seized his father's throne, and reinstalled the former faith proscribing the Catholic religion under the penalty of death. The missionaries, on their expulsion, found a temporary protector in one of the petty princes of the country, by whom, however, they were soon abandoned. Those who reached the port of Massowah were held for a ransom. Father Fernández, then over eighty years of age, was one of those detained as hostage, but a younger companion persuaded the pasha to substitute him, and Father Fernández was allowed to return to India, where he ended his days. On his missions for the king, Father Fernández had traversed vast tracts of hitherto unexplored territory. He translated various liturgical books into Ethiopian, and was the author of ascetical and polemical works against the heresies prevalent in Ethiopia.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online