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Diego of Estella

DIEGO OF ESTELLA

Franciscan ascetical-mystical theologian (known also as Diego de San Cristóbal); b. Estella, Navarre, 1524; d. Salamanca, Aug. 1, 1578.

He was a nephew of St. Francis xavier and studied probably at the University of Toulouse, returning to Spain to join the Friars Minor in Salamanca. In 1552 he accompanied Ruy Gómez da Silva to Portugal; by 1561 he was again in Spain, writing and preaching with enormous success, serving as court preacher and theological adviser to Philip II. As one of the official preachers of his province, he preached, at the request of St. Teresa, for the opening of her convent in Salamanca. His most noted works are the ascetical Libro de la vanidad del mundo (Toledo 1562) and the mystical Meditaciones devotísimas del amor de Dios (Salamanca 1576). Both these works are strongly Augustinian and have appeared in many editions and languages up to the present. He wrote with unusual power and persuasive beauty, appealing to all Christians, for he held that all are called to the life of contemplation. His commentary on St. Luke was censured by the Inquisition, but he died before trial. His order defended him for several years until the case was finally dropped. Other of his works are: Tratado de la vida, loores, y excelencias del glorioso apóstol y bienaventurado evangelista San Juan, el más amado y querido discipulo de Christo nuestro Salvador (Lisbon 1554); In sacrosanctum Jesu Christi Domini Nostri evangelium secundum Lucam enarrationes (2 v. Salamanca 157475); Modo de predicar: Modus concionandi (Salamanca 157076); Explanationes in Ps 136 Super flumina Babylonis (Salamanca 1576).

Bibliography: "Estudio histórico-crítico sobre la vida y obras de Fr. Diego de Estella" and "Bibliografia," in Archivo Ibero-Americano (centenary issue) 22 (1924) 5278, 384388; 24 (1925) 383386; 2d series, 13 (1953) 110112. a. andrÉs, "Fray D. de E.: Causas, incidentes y fin de un proceso," ibid., 2d series, 2 (1942) 145158. e. a. peers, Studies of the Spanish Mystics, v.2 (London 1930) 220249. m. menÉndez y pelayo, Historia de las ideas estéticas en España, v.2 (rev. ed. Santander 1940) ch. 7. j. b.c. gomis, ed., Místicos Franciscanos españoles, v.3 (Biblioteca de autores cristianos 1949) 4154, introd.; 59367, Meditaciones. p. sagÜÉs azcona, ed., Modo de predicar: Fray Diego de Estella, 15241578, 2 v. (Madrid 1951), critical biog. and analysis of style. donat de monleras, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932) 4.2:136670.

[m. f. laughlin]

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