Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Bishop of New Orleans, Archbishop of Guatemala, son of a wealthy and noble family ; born at Havana, 3 April, 1749; died there, 17 July, 1810. After studying belles-lettres and philosophy in St. Ignatius College of his native city, he followed there the courses of the University of St. Jerome and in 1771 obtained the degree of Doctor of Theology. Having distinguished himself by his learning and charity, his bishop entrusted him with several missions of an administrative nature, and in 1773 appointed him provisor and vicar-general. When Pius VI, in deference to the prayer of Carlos VI, King of Spain, created Louisiana and the Floridas a diocese, distinct from that of Santiago de Cuba, Luis Penalver was made it first bishop. He made his entrance into New Orleans on 17 July, 1795, took formal possession of his see, and in the following December published an "Instrucción para el govierno de los párrocos de la diócesis de la Luisiana". He soon began the visitation of his diocese, which then extended over the country know later as the "Louisiana Purchase Territory". On 21 April, 1796, he was at Iberville, on 8 November of the same year at Natchitoches, and at Pensacola on 7 May, 1798. Upon his return in 1799, he drew up a report in which he complained bitterly of the ignorance, irreligion, and the want of discipline which then prevailed in Louisiana.

Bishop Peñalver was promoted to the Archiepiscopal See of Guatemala on 20 July, 1801, and by a Rescript from Rome was empowered to transfer his authority in Louisiana and the Floridas to Canon Thomas Hasset, his vicar-general, and to Rev. Patrick Walsh. After a chase by an English war-vessel, Archbishop Peñalver arrived at Guatemala, where he soon attained to prominence through the interest he manifested in questions that concerned education and the public good. At his own expense he built a hospital and various schoools. He resigned his see on 1 March, 1806, and, returning to Havana, devoted the last years of his life to charitable works. At his death he bequeathed $200,000 to the poor and several important legacies to educational institutions.

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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy 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


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More