Molloy, Francis

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Irish Franciscan writer and teacher who compiled the first Gaelic grammar ever printed; b. Diocese of Meath, Ireland, c. 1606; d. France, 1677. Molloy (also known as O'Molloy) seems to have been a native of Fir Ceall in the present County Offaly. He joined the Franciscan Order at St. Isidore's College, Rome, on Aug. 2, 1632. He taught philosophy at Klosterneuberg (1642) and Mantua (1647), and theology at Graz (1645) and Rome (1652), where he became procurator for the Irish Franciscans. In 1671 Molloy's name was proposed for the bishopric of Kildare. Among those who recommended him was Maria Virginia Altieri, sister of Clement X. The Propaganda Printing Press at Rome published his two best-known works: a Gaelic catechism, Lucerna fidelium, Lochrann na gcreidmheach (1676), and a grammar, Grammatica latino-hibernica (1677). Neither is original, and the grammar is very defective. He also published a treatise on the Incarnation and some Latin poems.

Bibliography: f. molloy, Lucerna fidelium, ed. p. Ó sÚilleabhÁin (Dublin 1962). b. egan, "Notule sur les sources de la Grammatica latino-hibernica du Père O'Molloy," Études celtiques 7 (1957) 428436.

[b. egan]