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Maurice O'Fihely

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Archbishop of Tuam, born about 1460; died at Galway, 1513. He was, according to Dr. Lynch, a native of Clonfert in Galway, but, according to Ware and Anthony à Wood, a native of Baltimore in Cork. He is sometimes called Maurice a Portu, Baltimore being situated on the sea coast. Part of his education was received at the University of Oxford, where he joined the Franciscans. Later he studied at Padua, where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Divinity. After his ordination he was appointed professor of philosophy in the University of Padua. He was a student of the works of Duns Scotus, and wrote a commentary on them (published at Venice about 1514). O'Fihely acted for some time as corrector of proofs to two well-known publishers at Venice, Scott and Locatelli--in the early days a task usually entrusted to very learned men. O'Fihely was acknowledged one of the most learned men of his time, so learned that his contemporaries called him Flos Mundi (Flower of the World). In addition, his piety and administrative capacity were recognized at Rome, and in 1506 he was appointed Archbishop of Tuam. He was consecrated at Rome by Julius II . He did not return to Ireland till 1513, meantime attending as Archbishop of Tuam the first two sessions of the Lateran Council (1512). On leaving for Ireland to take formal possession of his see, he procured from the pope an indulgence for all those who would be present at his first Mass in Tuam. He was destined not to reach Tuam, for he fell ill in Galway, and died there in the Franciscan convent.

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