Gual, Pedro

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Franciscan missionary, apologist, founder and restorer of influential religious institutions in Peru; b. Canet del Mar, Barcelona, Spain, 1813; d. Lima, 1890. Gual was educated in Italy. He arrived at the Peruvian Missionary College of Ocopa in 1845 and, in 1852, he created the famous missionary college of the Descalzos in Lima. Gual became a general commissary of the order, in charge of missionary colleges and visitor of the Franciscan provinces. From the beginning, Gual was the soul of the religious restoration initiated by Andrés herrero in the South American Pacific republics. Gual founded or consolidated the string of Colegios de Propaganda Fide that arose in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia. He was an untiring promotor and organizer, by his example and writings, of the missions popular among the faithful. He attacked the enemies of the Church, Jansenists, Liberals, Masons, and atheists, with his vigorous lectures and publications, which he directed especially against Renan, Jacolliot, and De Santis. These publications were widely circulated among the educated Peruvians. He also successfully refuted Vigil and other Peruvian writers who spread heretical and demoralizing doctrines in his Equilibrio entre las dos potestades (1852), La Moralizadora del mundo (1862), La Vida de Jesús (1869), La India cristiana (1880), and many others.

Bibliography: h. a. bierck, Vida pública de don Pedro Gual (Caracas 1976).

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