Canonist; b. Solero, near Alexandria; d. 1763. He entered the Order of the Friars Minor of the strict observance. He became provincial and then lecturer in theology, synodal examiner, and consultor of the Holy Office. He is renowned for his Prompa bibliotheca canonica, juridica, moralis, theologica necnon ascetica, polemica, rubristica historica, prepared at Bologna (1746) in three folio volumes. The principal editions that followed were: Rome 1760–66, 10 v.; 1767, eight v.; Bologna 1763, 1766, nine v.; Venice 1782, with a supplement; Rome 1784–90, nine v. The Benedictines of Monte Cassino put out an edition in 1844, and included the published decrees of the Roman Congregations, which were lacking in the earlier editions. The Congregation of Propaganda with painstaking care published (1885–98) a later edition in nine volumes. The Bibliotheca of Ferraris is in alphabetical dictionary form. Schulte, having recognized the value and practical utility of this format, criticized his having spread out under different words, studies referring to the same subject. He also questioned its historical value, but the arrangement in alphabetical order and the citations of jurisprudence made the work useful and easy to consult. Ferraris endeavored to resolve controverted questions with equity, using the principles of probabilism.
Bibliography: j. f. von schulte, Die Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des kanonischen Rechts 3.1:531. e. h. vollet, Grande encyclopédie, ed. a. berthelot, 31 v. (Paris 1886–1902) 17:317. g. le pointe, Dictionnaire de droit canonique 5:831. a. m. stickler, Historia iuris canonici latini 320, 349.
[t. d. dougherty]