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Francesco Panigarola

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A preacher and controversialist, Bishop of Asti, born at Milan, 6 Feb., 1548; died at Asti, 31 May, 1594. As a student of law at Pavia and Bologna he led a dissipated life, until, moved by grace, he entered the Order of Friars Minor at Florence, 15 March, 1567. At the age of twenty-three he was sent to Rome, where his sermons attracted much attention. Pius V had him sent to Paris where for two years he studied the Fathers and the Councils, Greek and Hebrew. Returning to Italy he preached during thirteen years in the principal towns. He converted many Calvinists in France and Savoy ; at Naples there was collected, through one of his sermons, enough money to build a hospital for incurables. He also assisted in the construction of the Italian church of Antwerp, and of the Franciscan buildings at Genoa, Venice, Milan, and Turin. In 1579 Panigarola attended, as custos of his province, the general chapter at Paris. Finally in 1586 Sixtus V appointed him titular Bishop and Coadjutor of Ferrara, whence in 1587 he was transferred to the See of Asti. Shortly after he was sent to France as assistant to the Papal Legate, Cardinal Henry Cajetan. When Henry IV had renounced Calvinism, the bishop returned to Asti.

Melchiorri (Annales Min. cont. XXIII ad a. 1594, n. 76-81) gives the most complete catalogue of Panigarola's works. The most important are: "Il Compendio degli Annali ecclesiastici del Padre Cesare Baronio", Rome, 1590; 2nd ed., Venice, 1593, comprises only the first volume of Baronius. "B. Petri Apostolorum Principis Gesta . . . in rapsodiæ, quam catenam appellant, speciem disposita", Asti, 1591. "Lettioni sopra dogmi, dette Calviniche", Venice, 1584. This work, translated into Latin (Milan, 1594), was attacked by Giacomo Picenino in "Apologia per i Riformatori e per la Religione Riformata contro le Invettive di F. Panigarola e P. Segneri", Coira, 1706. "Il Predicatore di F. Francesco Panigarola . . . overo Parafrase, comento e discorsi intorno al libro dell' Elocutione di Demetrio Falerco . . .", Venice, 1609. He also wrote commentaries (Psalms, Jeremias etc.) and many collections of sermons, published in Italian and Latin.

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