Franciscan (1304), doctor of Canon and civil law in Bologna; b. Galicia, c. 1275; d. Seville, c. 1349. As papal penitentiary in avignon (1330–32) and as bishop of Silves in Portugal (1332), he knew firsthand the evils plaguing Christendom that are described in his writings. He sought to open the eyes of his readers with exhaustive examinations of conscience (potentially political constitutions) so that reason under canonical guidance might achieve a state of universal order in society. His thought, for the most part theocratic, accords certain basic rights to the state. The first part of De statu et planctu ecclesiae (Avignon 1330–32; revised, 1335–40) is a defense of john xxii and the papacy against Louis IV of Bavaria and marsilius of padua. The second part deals with the condition of the Church as it was and as it should be. The Speculum regum (c. 1341), citing classical authors more frequently than Christian, was meant for the Spain of Alfonso XI, and perhaps his chancellor, Archbishop albornoz. Alvaro urges Alfonso to continue the Reconquista into Morocco, de iure Christian. The Collirium fidei adversus hereses (1344) is an annotated catalogue of heresies, ancient and medieval. Although widespread in manuscripts and in print, Alvaro's writings lack definitive editions and studies. A Quinquagesilogium dealing with the Franciscan rule and a commentary on St. Matthew exist in manuscripts. A sermon on the beatific vision and a commentary on the Four Books of Sentences are lost.
Bibliography: Bibliographia Franciscana 9–11 (1954–63). g. delorme, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912—) 2:857–861. a. michel, Dictionnaire de sociologie 1:488–491. a. vacant, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50) 1.1:926. j. lahache, Dictionnaire de droit cannonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 1935–65) 6:1312. l. amorÓs, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 1:409. m. a. schmidt, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart 3, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 1957–65) 1:301.
[e. p. colbert]