Padilla y Estrada, Ignacio de

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Augustinian bishop; b. Mexico City, 1695; d. Mérida, Yucatán, July 20, 1760. His family held high social position; his grandparents were the Oidor Juan de Padilla Guardiola y Guzmán and Jerónima Cisneros; his parents, Juan Ildefonso Padilla Cisneros and Micaela Gregoria Estrada. Apparently he used various combinations of these names during his lifetime. After joining the Augustinians, he dedicated his life to study and preparation for an ascetic life. He received the doctorate in theology at the University of Mexico, then taught philosophy and theology at the Colegio of San Pablo, where he soon became rector. He held a number of offices: secretary of the province, visitor of the convents of Guadalajara and Havana, and prior of the convent in Mexico City. He was sent to Rome as a representative of the province, and was in Spain in 1743 on his way back to America when he was nominated archbishop of Santo Domingo. After consecration in Madrid, he arrived in Santo Domingo in 1745, where he undertook the reformation of the clergy and the rebuilding of churches, restoring the cathedral and opposing the destruction of the Jesuit college. He refused the bishopric of Guatemala in 1751 and that of Popayán in 1752, but finally accepted that of Mérida, Yucatán, in 1753. There he reformed the seminary, providing it with a new constitution and with an enlarged building; he endowed three chairs and brought in professors from Mexico to fill them. At his own expense he set up ten scholarships in the seminary for children of the poor and of the indigenous people. He stressed the welfare of the indigenous people in many ways and supported, with his interest and his money, hospitals for them.

[e. rodrÍguez-demorizi]