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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > T > Francisco Toledo

Francisco Toledo

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Philosopher, theologian, and exegete, son of an actuary, b. at Córdova, 4 Oct., 1532; d. at Rome, 14 Sept., 1596. He studied philosophy at Valencia and theology under Domingo Soto at Salamanca. At the age of twenty-three he taught philosophy at Salamanca, and, after his ordination, entered the Society of Jesus there, 3 June, 1558, and made his novitiate at Simancas. In 1559 he went to Rome and was professed in 1564. He successively filled the posts of master of novices, professor of philosophy for three years, Scholastic and moral theology for six years, and prefect of studies of the Roman College. He was theologian of the Sacred Penitentiary and preacher to the pope and cardinals for twenty-four years, accompanied Monsignor Commendone on his mission to the Emperor Maximilian and King Sigismund of Poland, and was the envoy of various popes to Vienna, Poland, Germany, Bavaria, and Louvain, where he received Baius's abjuration of the propositions which had been condemned by Pius V and Gregory XIII. Clement VIII created him a cardinal, 17 September, 1593; this dignity, it seems, he desired to renounce in 1594 so that he would be free to retire and die in one of the Jesuit houses. He was largely instrumental in the reconciliation of Henry IV to the Church and to Spain; at his death Henry had a memorial service for him in Paris. As a religious he is classed by Mariana as of ordinary virtue; he was dispensed from religious obedience by a secret papal Brief, lived in the papal palace, sought the cardinal's hat, and in the latter years of his life intervened in Jesuit affairs with disastrous results. Gregory XIII considered him one of the most learned men of his age, and Soto ranks him as a genius.

His philosophical works, especially "De anima", adopted as a text-book in the University of Salamanca, give indications of a philosophical revival as regards both matter and method. Irrelevant questions are set aside, others are weighed or reduced, and certain problems are stated and discussed in a broader spirit. In his Scriptural commentaries he examines every sentence of the text, points out their relationship, give Patristic references in the annotations, discusses and judges dogmatic questions learnedly and lucidly. By some he is considered the foremost interpreter of his century, and his exegetical works certainly deserve the first place. In his theological works he is clear, concise, and orderly. He proclaims himself a disciple of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, although on certain questions he is quite at variance with them, as for example the proximate cause of predestination, which for him is prævisa bona opera. In regard to the famous Scotist teaching that the Word would have become man even if Adam had not sinned, he says: it is neither true, probable, nor ingenious. His works may be divided into three classes: (1) Philosophical: "Introductio in dialecticam Aristotelis" (Rome, 1561), thirteen editions, apparently the first work of a Jesuit to be printed in Mexico; "Commentaria una cum quæstionibus in universam Aristotelis logicam" (Rome, 1572), seventeen editions; "Commentaria de physica auscultatione" (Venice, 1573), fifteen editions; "De generatione et corruptione" (Venice, 1575), seven editions; "De anima" (Venice, 1574), twenty editions; "Opera omnia. Opera philosophica" (Lyons, 1586-92), only one volume issued. (2) Theological: "In Summam theologiæ S. Thomæ Aquinatis enarratio" (4 vols., Rome, 1869), published by Father José Paría, S.J.; "Summa casuum sive instructio sacerdotum" (Lyons, 1599), forty-six editions (Spanish tr., Juan de Salas; Italian, Andreo Verna; French, Goffar; summaries in Latin, Spanish, French, and Italian). (3) Exegetical: "In sacrosanctum Joannis Evangelium commentarium" (Rome, 1592), nine editions; "In prima XII capita Sacrosancti Jesu Christi D. N. Evangelium secundum Lucam" (Rome, 1600), printing supervised by Father Miguel Vázquez, S.J.; "In Epistolam B. Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos" (Rome, 1602), Chaldean tr., Father Azevedo. Manuscripts: "Emmendationes in Sacra Biblia vulgata", corrected by direction of Clement VIII; "Regulæ hebraicæ pro lingua sancta intelligenda". Sermons: "Motivós y advertencias de casas dignas de refomación cerca del Breviario".


NIEREMBERG, Varones ilustres de la compañía de Jesus, V (Bilbao, 1890); PARIA, Francisci Toleti e Societate Jesu S. R. E. Præsbyteri Cardinalis, introduction to In Summam theologiæ S. Thomæ Aquinatis enarratio (Rome, 1869); ASTRAIN, Historia de la compañía de jesus en la Asistencia de España, III (Madrid, 1909), 595-604, 630-33; SOMMERVOGEL, Bibliothèque de la compagnie de Jésus, VIII, 64; HURTER, Nomenclator.

About this page

APA citation. Pérez Goyena, A. (1912). Francisco Toledo. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Pérez Goyena, Antonio. "Francisco Toledo." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph C. Meyer.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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