Sanctis, Dionisio de

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Dominican bishop in 16th-century New Granada, active in the education of the indigenous peoples; b. Palma del Rio, Spain, c. 1507; d. Cartagena, New Granada (now Colombia), 1577. He was professed in Santo Domingo convent of Jerez de la Frontera on Nov. 1, 1523. Hence he was called "de Sanctis" or "de los Santos." He was ordained before 1530 and then continued further studies at the College of San Gregorio in Valladolid. He received the Praesentatus in 1551 and the master of theology degree in 1561. He served as prior in Murcia, Osuna, Palma del Rio, Granada, and San Lucar de Barrameda before being elected provincial of the province of Andalucía in 1565. In 1574 he was named bishop of Cartagena. In the New World he found the native population of his diocese poorly trained; they had forgotten their instruction and prayers. To facilitate their reeducation he compiled a catechism, the Doctrina cristiana para los Indios, and a primer for teaching reading, Cartilla para enseñar a leer a los Indios.

Bibliography: h. sancho de sopranis, "Un Obispo doctrinero de Indios, Fr. Dionisio de Sanctis, O.P.," Missionalia Hispánica 8 (1951) 317373.

[a. b. nieser]