Valverde, Vicente de

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First bishop of Peru; b. Oropeza, Estremadura, Spain, date unknown; d. Puná Island, November 1541. He received the Dominican habit at S. Esteban monastery, Salamanca, in 1523 and finished his studies at S. Gregorio of Valladolid. In 1529 he sailed for Peru, along with other Dominican missionaries, and remained there alone to share the fate of his cousin Francisco Pizarro. He assisted in the capture of Atahualpa in Cajamarca and instructed and baptized him before he died. In 1535 Valverde was informed of his elevation to the bishopric of Peru and called to the court to report on the conquest and to receive some instructions for the government. He returned to Peru in 1538 with supplies for the churches and missionaries for the doctrinas. According to royal orders, he surveyed the conquered territory and wrote a long report, pointing out the necessity of dividing the Peruvian lands into governmental districts and bishoprics. The civil war between the followers of Pizarro and Almagro prevented the organization of the vast Diocese of Peru. No sooner had Vaca de Castro arrived in Quito with the mission to set the boundaries of the Bishoprics of Cuzco, Lima, and Quito, than he received news of the death of Valverde.

Bibliography: a. m. torres, El padre Valverde (2d ed. Quito 1932). j. m. vargas, Historia de la Iglesia en el Ecuador durante el patronato español (Quito 1962) ch. 2.

[j. m. vargas]