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Nicholas Riccardi

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A theologian, writer and preacher; born at Genoa, 1585; died at Rome, 30 May, 1639. Physically he was unprepossessing, even slightly deformed. His physical deficiencies, however, were abundantly compensated for by mentality of the highest order. His natural taste for study was encouraged by his parents who sent him to Spain to pursue his studies in the Pincian Academy. While a student at this institution he entered the Dominican order and was invested with its habit in the Convent of St. Paul, where he studied philosophy and theology. So brilliant was his record that after completing his studies he was made a professor of Thomistic theology at Pincia. While discharging his academic duties, he acquired a reputation as a preacher second only to his fame as a theologian. As a preacher Philip III of Spain named him "The Marvel", a sobriquet by which he was known in Spain and at Rome till the end of his life. On his removal to Rome in 1621, he acquired the confidence of Urban VIII . He was made regent of studies and professor of theology at the College of the Minerva. In 1629 Urban VIII appointed him Master of the Sacred Palace to succeed Niccolò Ridolphi, recently elected Master General of the Dominicans. Shortly after this the same pontiff appointed him pontifical preacher. These two offices he discharged with distinction. His extant works number twenty. Besides several volumes of sermons for Advent, Lent, and special occasions, his writings treat of Scripture, theology, and history. One of his best known works is the "History of the Council of Trent" (Rome, 1627). His commentaries treat of all the books of Scripture, and are notable for their originality, clearness, and profound learning. Two other commentaries treat of the Lord's Prayer and the Canticle of Canticles.

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