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Marroquín, Francisco (c. 1499–1563)

Marroquín, Francisco (c. 1499–1563)

Francisco Marroquín (b. ca. 1499; d. 9 April 1563), first bishop of Guatemala (1537–1563). Probably a native of Santander, Spain, Marroquín was a diocesan priest and a protégé of Francisco García de Loaysa, bishop of Osma and president of the Council of the Indies. In 1528, when Juan de Zumárraga was named bishop of Mexico, Marroquín accompanied him to the New World. At the invitation of Pedro de Alvarado, he settled in Guatemala in 1530 and served as a parish priest there. In 1532, Marroquín was appointed bishop of the new diocese of Guatemala, and following papal approval, he was consecrated at Mexico City in 1537. Marroquín spent the rest of his life in Guatemala. During his long episcopacy, he showed great interest in the conversion of the Indians, in the settlement and development of the colony, and in education, especially for the Spanish population. He served briefly as co-governor of Guatemala (1541–1542) and thereafter collaborated closely with the presidents of the Audiencia of Los Confines, which was established in 1542. From his earliest days in Central America, Marroquín had a long and stormy relationship with Bartolomé de Las Casas, with whom he disagreed regarding the best method of dealing with the native population.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Modern Period; Guatemala, Audiencia of.


Lázaro Lamadrid, "Bishop Marroquín: Zumárraga's Gift to Central America," in The Americas 5, no. 3 (1949): 331-341.

Carmelo Sáenz De Santa María, El licenciado don Francisco Marroquín, primer obispo de Guatemala (1499–1563): Su vida, sus escritos (1964).

Additional Bibliography

Bendaña, R. La Iglesia en Guatemala: Síntesis histórica del catolicismo guatemalteco: Parte I, 1524–1951. Guatemala: Librerías Artemis Edinter, 2001.

                                           Stephen Webre

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