Morales, Francisco de
MORALES, FRANCISCO DE
Franciscan missionary in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru from 1547 to 1567. His birth and death dates are unknown. He was born in Soria, Spain, and went to Peru during the administration of La Gasca, who recommended him to his successor as one of the few ecclesiastics from whom he could take counsel. After founding the convent of La Paz, Bolivia, Morales was sent to Quito, where he spent six years organizing the missionary work. He founded the Colegio de San Andrés for Indians, poor mestizos, and Spanish orphans, who were taught reading and writing, music, and some crafts. As provincial of Peru (1559–62) he vigorously opposed the perpetuation of the encomiendas, opposing in this the commissary general of his order, Luis de Zapata. He did not hesitate to criticize the government of the Viceroy Conde de Nieva, whom he considered reactionary in his treatment of the indigenous people. These differences of opinion were probably the chief reason for his return to Spain on Jan. 2, 1568, the date on which he sent to the Visitor from the Council of the Indies, Juan de Ovando, an important memorial setting forth his opinions on the encomienda system. In Spain he was guardian of the convent at Valladolid, the headquarters of the province of Concepción. In 1575 he took over the government of the province first as vicar and then as minister provincial. At the end of his term (1579) he was appointed visitor to the province of Castille. The last knowledge of him is a report, dated 1580, on Peruvian matters.
Bibliography: d. de cÖrdoba y salinas, Corónica franciscana de las provincias del Perú, ed. l. g. canedo (2d ed. Washington 1957). l. g. canedo, "New Data regarding the Origins of the Franciscan Missions in Peru, 1532–1569," Americas 9 (1952–53): 315–348.
[l. g. canedo]