Bartholomew Of The Martyrs

, a pious and learned Dominican, and archbishop of Braga in Portugal, was born in May, 1514, in the city of Lisbon. His father’s | name was Dominic Fernandez; but as the son happened to be baptised in the church of our Lady of the Martyrs, he adopted this last name instead of that of his family. In 1528 he took the habit of the order of St. Dominic, and after arriving at his doctor’s degree, was appointed preceptor to Don Antonio, son of the infant Don Lewis, brother of king John III. For twenty years also he taught divinity, and acquired such a character for sanctity and talents, that on a vacancy for the archbishopric of Braga, Bartholomew was universally recommended; but he persisted for a long time in refusing it, until threatened with excommunication. Nor was this reluctance affected, for he had such a fixed repugnance against undertaking this high charge, that the compulsion employed threw him into a disorder from which it was thought he could not recover. When it abated, however, he went to his diocese, and began to exercise his functions in the most exemplary manner. In 1561 he was present at the council of Trent, under pope Pius IV. where he discovered such knowledge and spirit as to acquire general esteem. It was he who advised the fathers of this council to begin business by a reformation of the clergy; and when some of the bishops demanded if he meant to extend his reform to the most illustrious cardinals, he replied, that those “most illustrious” cardinals stood very much in need of a “most illustrious” reformation. In 1563 he went with cardinal de Lorraine to Rome, where the pope received him with every mark of esteem and confidence. Here he spoke his mind on ecclesiastical abuses with great freedom, and observing the custom in one of their assemblies, that the bishops stood uncovered, while the cardinals sat covered, he remonstrated with the pope so effectually, that this affront to the episcopal dignity was no longer tolerated. His principal motive, however, for this journey to Rome, was to obtain leave to resign his archbishopric; but the pope refused, on which he returned to Trent, and as soon as the council was over, went to Braga, where he remained until the pontificate of Gregory XIII. who at length accepted his resignation. After this he led a retired life, entirely occupied in acts of charity and devotion. He died in the convent of Viana, July 16, 1590, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. His works were published at Rome, 1744, 2 vols. fol. and consist of pious treatises, and an itinerary of his travels, in which we discover much of the excellence of his character. M. le Maitre de | Saci published his life in 4to and 12mo, 1664. He was beatified by pope Clement XIV. in 1773. 1


Antonio Bibl. Hisp.—Moreri.—Dict. Hist.