Didacus of Alcalá, St.
DIDACUS OF ALCALÁ, ST.
In Spanish, Diego; Franciscan lay brother and ascetic; b. S. Nicolás del Puerto, near Seville; d. at advanced age in Alcalá, Nov. 12, 1463. He was at first a mendicant hermit, but he later entered the monastery of Arizafa in Córdoba and was an exemplar of virtue, especially of humility and simplicity. He was sent to the Canaries (1441–49) and became guardian of the Franciscan mission and converted many pagans. In 1450 while in Rome for the canonization of bernardine of siena, he served the sick in the convent of Aracoeli. In 1456 he was sent from Salicetum in Castile to a new monastery in Alcalá, where he was revered for penances, miracles, and a divinely infused knowledge of theology. After death his severely mortified body did not suffer rigor mortis or corruption. Miraculous cures were reported immediately. In 1562 his body was taken to the bedside of Carlos, son of philip ii, to effect his cure. His canonization, requested by Philip in 1564, was obtained in 1588.
Feast: Nov. 13.
Bibliography: p. e. spalding, San Diego and Santiago (Claremont, Calif. 1934). l. wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum, 11:157–164; 12:75, 512–513;13:323–373. g. fussenegger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10v. (Freiburg 1957–65) 3:370.
[e. p. colbert]