Castro, Agustín Pablo
CASTRO, AGUSTÍN PABLO
Mexican Jesuit, scientist, and humanist; b. Córdoba, Mexico, Jan. 24, 1728; d. Bologna, Nov. 23, 1790. A brilliant student, he had such easy success in his studies in Puebla that he became somewhat conceited, so that he was criticized for indolence during his philosophy studies. His zeal did not wane again. He was ordained in Mexico City in October 1752 and from then on devoted himself to teaching and the ministry, finding time also to write humanistic studies and poetry. He served in Puebla, Veracruz, and Mexico City, always available to help in the confessional, to preach, and to assist the dying. From 1756 to 1763 he taught philosophy in Querétaro, was vice rector of San Ildefonso in Mexico City, worked in Guadalajara and Valladolid, and finally, taken ill, went to Tepotzotlán. During that period, somewhat influenced by the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment, he devoted himself to philosophy and wrote his three-volume Cursus philosophicus. In May 1763 he went to Veracruz, where, as a result of coming in contact with business and commerce, he wrote some works in the field of economics. The next year he was assigned to the University of Mérida, Yuán, where he taught moral theology, Canon Law, jurisprudence, and law, contributing effectively to the growth of the university. At the end of 1766 he went to Córdoba and then to Mexico City where he was stationed when the expulsion of the Jesuits was decreed on June 25, 1767. He and his companions went to Bologna. He resumed his literary activities, was named superior, went to Ferrara in 1773, and later returned to Bologna, again as superior. A great literary and scientific figure of his age, he was drawn into diverse fields by his intellectual curiosity. His writings show influence of the superficiality of the times.
Bibliography: m. valle pimentel, Agustín Pablo de Castro, 1728–1790 (Mexico City 1962). j. l. maneiro and m. fabri, Vidas de mexicanos ilustres del siglo XVIII, ed. and tr. b. navarro (Mexico City 1956).