Pedro A Ribadeneira - Encyclopedia

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PEDRO RIBADENEIRA A. (1527-1611), hagiologist, was born at Toledo on the 1st of November 1527. As a lad he repaired to Rome for study, and there on the 18th of September 1540 was admitted by Ignatius Loyola, in his thirteenth year, as one of the Society of Jesus, which had not yet received papal sanction. He pursued his studies at Paris (1542) in philosophy and theology. Loyola, in 1555, sent him on a mission to Belgium; in pursuance of it he visited England in 1558. A later result of his visit was his Historia Ecclesiastica del scisma del Reyno de Inglaterra (1588-1594), often reprinted, and used in later editions of N. Sander's De Origine et Progressu Schismatis Anglicani. In 1560 he was made Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Tuscany, thence transferred as Provincial to Sicily in 1563, again employed in Flanders, and from 1571 in Spain. In 1574 he settled in Madrid, where he died on the 10th of September 1611. His most important work is the Life of Loyola (1572), which he was the first to write. In his first edition of the Life, as also in the second enlarged issue (1587), Ribadeneira affirmed that Loyola had wrought no miracle, except the foundation of his Society (thus making his claim parallel with that of Mahomet, whose only miracle, originally, was the Koran). In the process for the canonization of Loyola, a narrative published by Ribadeneira in 1609 exhibited miracles; and these are recorded in an abridgment of the Life by Ribadeneira (published posthumously in 1612) with a statement by Ribadeneira that he had known of them in 1572 but was not then satisfied of their proof. For this change of opinion he is taken to task by Bayle. That Ribadeneira was, though an able, a very credulous writer, is shown by his lives of the successors of Loyola in the generalship of the Society, Lainez and Borgia; and especially by his Flos Sanctorum (1599-1610), a collection of saints' lives, entirely superseded by the labours of the Bollandists. His other works are numerous but of little moment, including his Tratado de la religion (1595), intended as a refutation of Machiavelli's Prince. See his autobiography in his Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu (1602 and 1608, supplemented by P.Alegambe and N.Sotwell in 1676); N. Antonio, Biotheca Hispana Nova (1788); Biographie Universelle (Michaud) (1842-1865). (A. Go.*)

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