Narracion de la marabillosa aparicion que hizo el archangel San Miguel

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Author: Francisco de Florencia (1619-1695)

Date: 1740

Publisher: Siete Revueltas

Place: Seville


[8]+194+[4] pages with full-page engraving on verso of title page. Quarto (7 3/4" x 6") bound in contemporary vellum with edges tinted red. (European Americana 740/121; Medina, BHA 6467; Palau 92347; Sabin 24815) Second edition, first published in 1692.

Francisco de Florencia  was the first Jesuit to be born in the territory that is now known as the United States, in the current state of Florida. At the age of twenty-three, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1612 and was professor of philosophy and theology at the Colegio Máximo de México. In 1668 he was sent as procurator of his province to Rome and Madrid. He then returned to the Mexican capital, where he died in 1695. Of his sixteen works (almost all with very baroque titles), the History of the Province of the Society of Jesus in New Spain stands out , published in Mexico in 1694, where he recorded the missionary work of the priests, without making concessions to the Indians, whom he almost totally ignores.

Before entering the Society of Jesus in 1641, at the age of twenty-one, he had been a seminarian at the Colegio de San Ildefonso, where he later taught Philosophy, between 1653 and 1660, lessons he continued to teach at the Colegio Máximo de México between 1660 and 1668. He then held the Vespers chair of Theology. He was chosen to travel to Rome as procurator by the XVII Provincial Congregation, together with Ambrosio Adrada, rector and master of novices at the Tepotzotlán college. He remained in the Eternal City between 1669 and 1670. He was a man of great credit in the province of Mexico, where he stood out for his religious life, his letters and his knowledge of the things of the Company in Mexico. After his work in Rome, he lived in Seville between 1671 and 1678, with the office of attorney general of the Indies.

By then there was another procurator before the Madrid Court, in such a way that the procurator of the Indies in Seville was in charge of the most immediate matters related to the preparation of the trip of the missionaries to America, while the one who resided in Madrid was in charge of all the prior procedures that had to be done before the Royal Council of the Indies. Father Florencia returned to Mexico in 1679, accompanied by reinforcements from Spanish and Italian Jesuits. There, in 1680, he was appointed rector of the Colegio del Espíritu Santo, in the city of Puebla de los Ángeles. He died in Mexico City fifteen years later.

Francisco de Florencia stood out not only as a preacher, but especially as a historian and biographer of the religious who stood out in the province of New Spain, as well as of the trajectory of the Society of Jesus in that viceroyalty. Not all of his works were published, although his most important work is precisely the History of the Province of the Society of Jesus in New SpainHe also stood out in the study of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, so it is not surprising that he requested the Holy See, in 1663, the liturgical feast of this Marian invocation. Without a doubt, Francisco de Florencia became the pioneer of Mexican religious history, in aspects that were not limited only to the Society of Jesus.


Minor wear to vellum, stain on front wrapper; minor dampstaining near end; early inscriptions on front free endpaper, small marca de fuega of a cross on top edge, later owner's bookplate on front pastedown else about very good.

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