Andreas, John

, was born a Mahometan, at Xativa, in the kingdom of Valencia, and succeeded his father in the dignity of alfaqui of that city. He embraced Christianity on being present at a sermon in the great church of Valencia the day of the assumption of the blessed Virgin, in 1487. Upon this he desired to be baptised, and in memory of the calling of St. John and St. Andrew, he took the name of John Andreas. “Having received holy orders,” says he, “and from an alfaqui and a slave of Lucifer become a priest and minister of Christ, I began, like St. Paul, to preach and publish the contrary of what I had erroneously believed and asserted; and, with the assistance of almighty God, I converted at first a great many souls of the Moors, who were | in danger of hell, and under the dominion of Lucifer, and conducted them into the way of salvation. After this, I was sent for by the most catholic princes king Fex-dinand and queen Isabella, in order to preach in Grenada to the Moors of that kingdom, which their majesties had conquered; and by God’s blessing on my preaching, an infinite number of Moors were brought to abjure Mahommed, and to turn to Christ. A little after this, I was made a canon by their graces; and sent for again by the most Christian queen Isabella to Arragon, that I might be employed in the conversion of the Moors of those kingdoms, who still persisted in their errors, to the great contempt and dishonour of our crucified Saviour, and the prodigious loss and danger of all Christian princes. But this excellent and pious design of her majesty was rendered ineffectual by her death.” At the desire of Martin Garcia, bishop of Barcelona, he undertook to translate from the Arabic, into the language of Arragon, the whole law of the Moors; and after having finished this undertaking, he composed his famous work of “The Confusion of the Sect of Mahommed;” it contains twelve chapters, wherein he has collected the fabulous stories, impostures, forgeries, brutalities, follies, absurdities, and contradictions, which Mahommed, in order to deceive the simple people, has dispersed in the writings of that sect, and especially in the Koran. Andreas tells us, he wrote this work, that not only the learned among Christians, but even the common people, might know the different belief and doctrine of the Moors; and on the one hand might laugh at and ridicule such insolent and brutal notions, and on the other might lament their blindness and dangerous condition. This book, which was published at first in Spanish at Seville, 1537, 4to, has been translated into several languages, and is frequently quoted as authority in writings against the Mahometan religion. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri.