Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/316

This page needs to be proofread.


MEZGER


270


MEZZOFANTI


founded many institutions both in New and (Md Spain, helped with his own means Pius VI when he was sent to France as a prisoner by Napoleon, and largely contributed to the support of the cardinals assembled in Venice, in the concla\e that elected Pius VII. A few years after the conquest, viz.. in tlie l)e- ginning of the sixteenth century, the Arclxliocese of Mexico already possessed over fifty convents of nuns, a university, equal to that of Salamanca, several col- leges, and numberless schools. Their number went on increasing, until all religious progress Was stopped by the War of Independence and the ci\il wars tliat followed. All were destroyed by law and in reality under President Ju;irez. President Diaz has treated the Church lictter; but the penal laws have not been repealed. The present archbishop, Mgr Mora y del Rio was born at Pajuacaran, 24 Feb., 1S54; studied at Zaniora and Rome; was ordained, 22 Dec, 1877; consecrated Bishop of Tehuantepec, 19 Jan., 1893; and promoted to the See of Mexico, 2 Dec, 1908 in succession to Mgr Alarcon. The population almost entirely Catholic is about 780,000.

Galena dc retratos en la Catedral de Mexico; Icazbalceta, Primer Obispo y Azobispo de Mexico: Sosa, Episcopada Mexi- cano: Cardinal Lorenzana, passim; Balbuena, Grandeza Mexi- cana. J. MonTES DE OcA Y ObHEGON.

Mezger, Francis, Joseph, and Paul, three brothers, learned Benedictines of the monastery of St. Peter in Salzburg, and professors at the University of Salzburg.

Fr.vncis, the oldest of the three, b. at Ingolstadt, 25 October, 16.32; d. at Salzburg, 11 December, 1701. He took vows in 1651; was ordained priest in 1657; taught philosophy at the University of Salzburg in 1659; became regent of the convictus and secretary of the university in 1661; taught philosophy again from 1663 to 1665; and then moral theology until 1668. F'rom 1669 to 1688 he taught various branches at the Bavarian monastery of Ettal and at his own monastery. From 1688 initil his death he was master of novices and director of clerics at his monastery. He ^vTote the following philosophical treatises: " Phi- losophia rationalis rationibus explicata" (Salzburg, 1660); "Anima rationibus philosophicis animata et explicata" (ib., 1661); " Philosophia naturalis rationi- bus naturalibus elucidata" (ib., 1661); "Manuals philosophicum " (ib., 1665); "Homomicrocosnuis" (ib., 1665). The following are some of his transla- tions: "Philosophia sacra" (ib., 1678), from the French of the Parisian Capuchin Ivo; " Hciliges Bene- diktiner-Jahr" (2 volumes, Munich, 1690), from the Latin; "Dioptra politicesreligiosae" (Salzburg, 1694), and "Exercitia spiritualia" (ib., 1693), both from the French of the Maurist Le Contat; "Succinctse medita- tiones christianje" (4 vols., ib., 1695), from the French of the Maurist Claude Martin ; "Via regia studiosae juventutis ad veram sapientiam" (Frankfort, 1699), from the Italian; and a few others of less importance.

Joseph, b. 5 September, 1635, at Eichstadt; d. 26 October, 1683, at the monastery of St. Gall, while on a pilgrimage to Einsiedeln. He took vows at the same time with his brother Francis in 1651; was ordained priest in 1659; taught poetry in the gj'mnasium of Salzburg in 1660; was master of novices and sul>prior in his monastery in 1661; taught philosophy at the University of Salzljurg, 1662-4; apologetics and pole- mics, 1665-7; canon law, 1668-73; he was prior of his monastery and taught hermeneutics anfl polemics, 1673-8, when he was appointed vice-chancellor of the university. He was an intimate friend of Maliillon, with whom he kept up a constant correspondence and who in his "Iter Gernianicum" calls liim "Univer- sitatis Salisburgensis pripcipuum ornamentum" (Ve- tera Analecta, I, xi). His chief work is "Historia Salisburgensis" covering the period from 582 to 1687, of which work he, however, had written only the first four books (582-1555) when he died, leaving the


remainder to be completed liy his two brothers. In 1664 he published at Salzliurg his four [)hilosoi)hical treatises: (1) " Considerationes dc scient iis ct dp niodis sciendi in genere"; (2) Axioniata |)hysic:i ([ua'sliflni- bus problematicis distincta"; (3) "Quatuor gradus naturie: esse, vivere, sentire, intelligerc"; (4) " Unitas et distinctio rerum qua>stionibus philosophicis expli- cata". His other works are: "Tabula bipartita successionis ecclesiastica; tam ex testamento quam ab intestato" (Salzburg, 1670); "Panacica juris" (ib., 1673); "Lapis mysticus et cornu parvuluni Daiiielis" (ib., 1677, 1682); "Institutiones in sacrain scriptu- ram" (ib., 1680); "Assertio antiquitatis ccclesiEe metropolitanfe Salisburgensis et monasterii S. Petri, O. S. Ben." (ib., 1682).

P.\UL, the most celebrated of the three brothers, b. 23 November, 1637, at Eichstadt; d. 12 April, 1702, at Salzburg. He took vows in 1653; was ordained priest in 1660; taught at the gymnasium of Salzburg, 1660-4; was master of novices and director of clerics, 1664-6; taught philosophy, first at the University of Salzburg, 1668-70; then at the monastery of Gott- weig, 1671-2. Returning to the LTnivei^ity of Salz- burg, he taught theology, 1673-88; exegesis and polemics, 1689-1700. In 1683 he had succeeded hia deceased brother Joseph as vice-chancellor. His chief production is: "Theologia scholastica secundum viam et doctrinam D. Thomae" (4 volumes, Augsburg, 1695, 1719), probably the best work on dogmatic theology that has been produced by a German Bene- dictine. It is especially noteworthy that the author's treatment of the immaculate conception and of papal infallibility is in exact accordance with the definitions of 1854 and 1870. His other works are:"Somnia philosophorum de possibilibus et impossibilibus" (Salzburg, 1670); "Contemplationes philosophicae magnse urbis ccelestis et elementaris" (ib., 1670); "Mercurius logicus" (ib., 1671); " De gratia Dei" (ib., 1675) ; "' Allocutiones de mediis pietatis Marianse" (ib., 1677); " Orationes partheniiE, miscellanese, sacro- profanae, problemata inauguralia seu orationes acade- micae" (ib., 1699-1700); "Sacra historia de gentis hebraicae ortu" (Dillingen, 1700; Augsburg, 1715).

Concerning all three see Sattler. Collect. -BliiHer zur Gesch. der ekcmaligen Benedictiner-Universitat Salzburg (Kempten, 1890), 212-218; Lindner, Professbuch der Benedictiner Abtei S. Peter in Salzburg (Salzburg, 1906), 53-58. 65-68. For Joseph and Paul see Straus, Viri scriptis, eruditione ac pielale insignes, quos genuit vel aluit Eichstadium (Eichstiidt, 1790), 326-331.

Michael Ott.

Mezzofanti, Giuseppe, cardinal, the greatest of polyglots, b. 19 September, 1774; d. 15 March, 1849. He was the son of a poor carpenter of Bologna. In the Scuole Pie, besides the classical languages, he learned Spanish, German, Mexican, and some South American dialects from ex- Jesuits who had been ex- iled from America. To his great love of study he added a prodigious memory, so that at the age of twelve years he was able to begin the three j'ears course of philosophy, which he closed with a public disputation. His theological studies were completed with no less distinction, at an age at which he could not yet be ordained; consequently he devoted himself to the study of Oriental languages; and in 1797 he was appointed to the chair of Hebrew at the University of Bologna, and ordained a priest. When the Cisalpine Republic was established, he refused to take the oath of allegiance to it, lost his chair at the university, and was compelled to give private lessons in order to support himself. After the battles of 1799 and of 1800, the hospitals of Bologna were crowded with wounded and sick of almost all the nationalities of Eu- rope, and Mezzofanti in giving religious assistance to the unfortunate seized the opportunity of perfecting his knowledge of the languages which he had already studied, as well as of learning new ones. In 1803 he was appointed assistant in the library of the Insti- tute, and later, professor of Hebrew and of Greek at