Irish Franciscan controversialist and historian; b. Kingstown, near Navan, County Meath, 1632; d. St. Isidore's College, Rome, April 7, 1702. It is not known where he received his early education. On Oct. 10, 1654, on the eve of his solemn profession in the franciscan order, he made a renunciation of his possessions, thus indicating that he had entered the order a year before. He studied for the priesthood, probably at St. Isidore's College, Rome. After ordination he became professor of philosophy and theology at that college, where he resided until his death. He did valuable work on some of the Roman Congregations and acted as one of the procurators at Rome for the Belgian anti-Jansenists (1680–84). His Securis evangelica (Rome 1674) is a fine piece of controversial writing, but it depends to a great extent on Bossuet's Exposition de la foi. His Compendium annalium ecclesiasticorum regni Hiberniae (Rome 1690) gives a brief account of the ancient kings and laws of Ireland and of its conversion to Christianity, but most of the material is derived from other Irish historians. He acted at Rome as procurator of the Franciscan province of Ireland (c. 1680). On Oct. 6, 1690, he was appointed theologian and historian to the exiled King James II, and on Dec. 19, 1695, he was commended for promoting the affairs of that monarch.
Bibliography: g. cleary, Father Luke Wadding and St. Isidore's College Rome (Rome 1925) 121–123. b. jennings, "Francis and Patrick Porter of Kingstowne, Meath," Franciscan College Annual (Multyfarnham 1951) 11–17. l. ceyssens, "Romeinsche brieven uit de Ierse episode van het Belgisch antijansenisme 1680–1684," Bulletin de l'Institut historique belge de Rome 23 (1944–46) 73–121; "François Porter, Franciscain Irlandais à Rome (1632–1702)," Miscellanea Melchor de Pobladura 1 (Rome 1964) 387–419. a. teetaert, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 12.2:2598.