Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Noted theologian and polygraphist, b. of German parents at Madrid, 1595; d. there, 1658. Having studied the classics at the Court, he went to Alcalá for the sciences and from there to Salamanca for canon law, where he entered the Society of Jesus in 1614, much against the wishes of his father who finally obliged him to leave the novitiate of Villagarcia. He remained firm in his resolution and was permitted to return to Madrid to finish his probation. He studied Greek and Hebrew at the Colegio de Huete, arts and theology at Alcalá, and was ordained in 1623, making his profession in 1633. At the Colegio Imperial of Madrid he taught humanities and natural history for sixteen years and Sacred Scripture for three. As a director of souls he was much sought, being appointed by royal command confessor to the Duchess of Mantua, granddaughter of Philip II. Remarkable for his exemplary life, and the heights of prayer to which he attained, he was an indefatigable worker, and one of the most prolific writers of his time. Seventy-three printed and eleven manuscript works are attributed to him, of these twenty-four at least are in Latin. Though his works are distinguished for their erudition, those in Spanish being characterized according to Capmani, by nobility and purity of diction, terse, well-knit phrases, forcible metaphors, and vivid imagery, certain defects mar his style, at times inelegant and marked by a certain disregard for the rules of grammar and a too pronounced use of antithesis, paronomasia, and other plays upon words. Lack of a true critical faculty often detracts from the learning. The Spanish Academy includes his name in the "Diccionario de Autoridades". His principal works are: (1) "Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia" (Madrid, 1638), editions of which have been issued at Saragossa, Barcelona, Seville, Majorca, also a second edition of the Madrid edition; it has been translated into Italian, French, Latin, German, Panayano, and condensed into English (New York, 1866, 1891); (2) "De la Diferencia entre lo Temporal y Eterno" (Madrid, 1640), of which there are fifty-four Spanish editions, and translations into Latin, Arabic, Italian, French, German, Flemish, and English (1672, 1684, 1884), Portuguese, Mexican, Guaranian, Chiquito, Panayano; (3) "Opera Parthenica" (Lyons, 1659), in which he defends the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, basing it upon new, although not always absolutely reliable, documents, (4) "Historia naturae maxime peregrinae Libris XVI, distincta" (Antwerp, 1635); (5) "De la afición y amor de Jesus . . . Idem de Maria" (Madrid, 1630), of which there are five Spanish editions and translations into Latin, Arabic, German, Flemish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and an English translation of the first edition (1849, 1880); one edition of (6) "Obras Christianas espirituales y filosóficas" (Madrid, 1651, fol. 3 vols.), and one of (7) "Obras Christianas" (Madrid, 1665, fol. 2 vols.), are still extant. It was customary in many of the Spanish churches to read selections from these books every Sunday.


More Encyclopedia

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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter