Skip to content

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Bishop of La Puebla de Los Angeles, b. at Fitero in Navarre, 24 June, 1600; d. at Osma in Spain, 1 October, 1659. He was a son of Jamie Palafox y Mendoza, Marquess of Ariza. After studying at the University of Salamanca, he was appointed to the Council of War and of the Indies at the Court of Madrid. In 1629 he renounced this dignity and was ordained priest. He accompanied Princess Mary as almoner to Germany and upon his return was consecrated Bishop of Puebla de Los Angeles, 27 December, 1839, and appointed "visitador general" of Mexico. He arrived there, June, 1640. He soon came in conflict with the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians, whose many exemptions and privileges he looked upon as encroachments on his episcopal jurisdiction. In may, 1642, he received secret advice from Madrid to take temporary charge of the Government, in place of the viceroy, Villena, who had been accused of financial mismanagement and secret sympathies with the Portuguese rebels in New Spain. At the same time he was appointed Archbishop of Mexico. From 10 June to 23 November, 1642, he was acting viceroy, but would not accept the dignity of archbishop. During his viceroyalty of five months, he corrected many financial abuses, framed new statutes for the University of Mexico, and to root out idolatry among the aborigines, destroyed many Aztec idols and other pagan antiquities collected by preceding viceroys.

20% off Black Friday SALE! code: MRC20

In 1647 began his conflict with the Jesuits. The reason for the strife was the numerous exemptions and privileges which the Jesuit missionaries had enjoyed in Mexico since the beginning of the seventeenth century, and which, in the opinion of Palafox, undermined his episcopal authority. In a letter to Innocent X, dated 25 May, 1647, he denounced the use which the Jesuits were making of their privileges and asked the pope for redress. The pope answered with a brief, dated 18 May, 1648, in which he sustains the bishop in all disputed points of jurisdiction, but exhorts him to be more kind and lenient towards the Jesuits. A second letter to Pope Innocent X, dated 8 January, 1849, more acrimonious than the first, is often attributed to Palafox, but was probably forged by enemies of the Jesuits, as it is disavowed by Palafox in a defense of his actions which he addressed to Philip IV of Spain in 1652. In May, 1649, Palafox left for Spain. On 27 May, 1653, Innocent X issued a new brief, in which he confirmed his previous decision in favour of Palafox. The bishop was transferred to the Diocese of Osma in Spain in 24 November, 1852. He spent the remainder of his life labouring with his usual zeal for the spiritual welfare of his flock, which honoured and reverenced him as a saint.

The process of his canonization was introduced in 1726 under Benedict XIII , and was continued during the pontificates of Benedict XIV, Clement XIII, Clement XIV, and Pius VI. At the last session which was held on 28 February, 1777, twenty-six out of forty-one votes favoured his beatification, but Pius VI suspended the final decision. His literary products, consisting chiefly of ascetic, pastoral, and historical treatises in Spanish were published in fifteen volumes (Madrid, 1762).

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

40 Days of Deals this Christmas season of 2022
Daily Readings logo
Saint of the Day logo
70% of families can't afford to send kids to Catholic School - Why?

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!