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Molina, Anthony de


Carthusian ascetical writer; b. Villanueva de los Infantes, c. 1550; d. Miraflores, Sept. 21, 1612. After studying at Salamanca, Molina made his profession in the Order of Augustinian Hermits (March 17, 1575), was elected superior at one of their Spanish houses, and taught theology. Wanting to join an order of stricter discipline, he became a Carthusian at Miraflores, near Burgos, in 1589, and died there as prior of the monastery. He wrote ascetical works in Spanish, adapted especially for priests, that became the most popular books of their type in Spain and were translated into other languages. The most famous of this group is a manual for priests titled Instrucción de sacerdotes, en que se dá doctrina muy importante para conocer la alteza del sagrado oficio sacerdotal, y para exercitarle debidamente, the whole work being based on the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Twenty editions of this work are known to have been published, among them a Latin translation by the Belgian Dominican, Nicolas Janssen Boy, that underwent five editions (Antwerp 1618, 1644; Cologne 1626, 1711, 1712). Severely attacked by the Jansenist Antoine arnauld (De la fréquente Communion, 1643), this work was well defended by Petavius (Dogmata theologica; De poenitentia 3.6). Molina also produced two ascetical works adapted for laymen: Exercicios espirituales para personas ocupadas deseosas de su salvación (Burgos 1613) and Exercicios espirituales de la excelencia, provecho y necesidad de la oración mental (Burgos 1615). Finally, still extant are many of his letters to the confessor of Philip III, a tract on prayer, a biography of Dom Michael Colmenero, and an unpublished treatise on the ultimate aim of life.

Bibliography: s. autore, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique. ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 190350) 10.2:208890. m. tarin y iuaneda, La real Cartuja de Miraflores (Burgos 1897) 486497. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 190313) 3:608609.

[f. c. lehner]

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