Skip to main content

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]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Diego of Estella." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 18 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Diego of Estella." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (February 18, 2019).

"Diego of Estella." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.