Pérez, Juan

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Spanish Franciscan, patron of columbus; date and place of birth uncertain; d. c. 1515. He was once confused with Antonio de Marchena, another Franciscan patron of Columbus, but the two are distinct. Marchena in 1473 was probably guardian of San Esteban de los Olmos in Burgos, and in 1485 of La Rábida, where he gave Columbus shelter and approved his plans. Marchena also was versed in astronomy. He became custos of the Observant Franciscans of Andalusia in 1487; vicar provincial of Castile, 1499 to 1502; and guardian of Murcia, 1502 to 1505. As a youth, Pérez was employed in the office of accounts of Isabella I, and as a friar was for a time her confessor. He probably is the Juan Pérez de Segovia of the friary of Arrizafa in Córdoba, to whom Isabella gave aims in 1485. As guardian of La Rábida in 1491, he befriended Columbus, going to the court to commend him to Isabella and in his name, April 17, 1492, signing the agreement for the voyage of Columbus. He helped in the preparations for the voyage, especially by persuading Martin Yáñez Pinzon, the most eminent mariner of Palos, to take part in the venture. He heard the confessions of the crew and gave them his blessing for the voyage. He probably accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, on which Marchena did not go despite the wishes of the king and queen. The Franciscan Order contributed to the discovery of America with the learning of Marchena, the social and political patronage of Juan Pérez, and the understanding and charity of both.

Bibliography: a. ortega, La rábida, 4 v. (Seville 192526) v.2. a. ballesteros y beretta, Cristóbal Colón, 2 v. (Barcelona 1945). a. ybot lÉon, La iglesia y los ectesiásticos españoles en la empresa de Indias (Barcelona 1954) v.1. a. uribe, "Una bula inédita de Paulo II ," Archivo Ibero-Americano, 2d ser. 4 (1944) 464472. j. meseguer fernÁndez, "Iñigo de Mendoza y Antonio de Marchena en an documento de 1502," Hispania 12 (1952) 401411; Archivo Ibero-Americano, 2d ser. 19 (1959) 163164, 167.

[j. m. fernÁndez]

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Pérez, Juan

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