Philosopher, theologian, and the 15th general of the Franciscan Order; b. province of Galicia, Spain; d. Paris, April 13, 1313. He is not to be identified with another Spanish Franciscan, Gonsalvo de Vallebona or de Balboa, with whom he was confused by a 16th-century chronicler, Mariano da Firenze (L. Amorós). After preparatory studies in Spain, Gonsalvus became a bachelor of theology at Paris (1288), where he commented on the Sentences of Peter Lombard; his commentary, however, is not extant. In 1289 he was member of a delegation sent by Sancho IV, King of Castile, to Pope Nicholas IV; the following year he was elected provincial minister for the Franciscan province of Santiago of Compostela. He returned to Paris (c. 1297) to become a master of theology, and in 1302–03 was regent master of the Franciscan studium; there John duns scotus commented on Lombard's Sentences during his regency. On June 25, 1303, both Gonsalvus and Duns Scotus were obliged to leave France because they had refused to sign Philip the Fair's appeal against Boniface VIII (E. Longpré). Shortly thereafter Gonsalvus became provincial minister for the province of Castile and, on March 17, 1304, general of the order.
Gonsalvus's literary legacy is not extensive. He compiled the Conclusiones metaphysicae (once attributed to Scotus), whose importance lies more in their practical usefulness than in their doctrinal content. His Quaestiones disputatae et de quolibet, dating from his regency in Paris, reflect heated discussions with the Thomists john (quidort) of paris and peter of la palu, with Meister eckhart, and with godfrey of fontaines and his students. Gonsalvus supported the traditional Augustinian theses on the supremacy of the will, the hylomorphic composition of angels and souls, the plurality of forms in the human compound, etc., but denied the need for divine illumination in intellectual knowledge, as peter john olivi had done before him and as Scotus would do later.
Gonsalvus's generalship, which lasted until April 13, 1313, was eventful. The conflict over Franciscan poverty had reached a new high, and Gonsalvus was obliged to combat not only laxity but also the extreme austerity of the spirituals and of the fraticelli. Some of his letters, most of them to various provincials of the order, have been preserved. He wrote also a small treatise concerning the precepts of the Franciscan rule, and engaged in polemics with the followers of Olivi [see Archivum Franciscanum historicum 7 (1914) 659–675; 8 (1915) 56–80; 10 (1917) 116–122]. He sponsored the compilation of the Catalogus Generalium Ministrorum, known as the Gonsalvinus, and the catalog of the cardinal protectors of the order. He also took an active part in the Council of Vienne (1311–12).
Gonsalvus's merit as general lies in his success in having preserved the order, during extraordinarily difficult times, from the dissolution that threatened it.
Bibliography: gonsalvus hispanus, Quaestiones disputatae et de quodlibet, ed. l. amorÓs Bibliotheca Franciscana scholastica medii acvi 9: 1935, complete bibliog. to 1935. For later additions, see e. mÜller, Das Konzil von Vienne 1311–1312: Seine Quellen und seine Geschichte (Vorreformationsgeschichtliche Forschungen 12; Münster 1934). Archivum Franciscanum historicum indexes to v. 1–50 (1908–1957), where Gonsalvus appears 38 times. e. longprÉ, Le B. Jean Duns Scot, OFM, pour le Saint Siège et contre le Gallicanisme (Quaracchi-Florence 1930). r. lÓpez de munaÍn, "El problema de la libertad y los doctores franciscanos del siglo XIII," Verdad y Vida 5 (1947) 283–307. b. mendia, "Influentia de los maestros franciscanos en la psicologéa del conoscimiento intellectual de Suarez," ibid. 6 (1948) 421–453. a. pisvin, "Die Intuitio und ihr metaphysischer Wert nach Vitalis de Furno (+ 1327) und Gonsalvus Hispanus (+ 1313)," Wissenschaft und Weisheit 12 (1949) 147–162. g. murana, "Il pensiero de Gonsalvo di Spagna," Italia Franciscana 26 (1951) 25–37; "Cenni sul pensiero di Gonsalvo di Spagna," Revista Rosminiana 47 (1953) 15–21. É. h. gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955) 698.