Oliva, Alexander

, general of the Augustin monks, and a celebrated cardinal, was born at Saxoferato, in 1408, of poor parents. He was admitted young amongst the monks of Augustin, and studied at Rimini, Bologna, and Perugia: in which last place he was first made professor of philosophy, and afterwards appointed to teach divinity. At length he was chosen provincial, and some time after accepted, not without reluctance, the post of solicitor-general of his order. This office obliged him to go to Rome, where his learning and virtue became greatly admired, notwithstanding he took all possible methods, out of an extreme humility, to conceal them. The cardinal of Tarentum, the protector of his order, could not prevail upon him to engage in any of the public disputations, where every body wished to see his great erudition shine; they had, however, the gratification to hear his frequent sermons, which were highly applauded. He appeared in the pulpits of the principal cities in Italy, as Rome, Naples, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Mantua, and Ferrara; was elected first vicar-general, and then general of his order, in 1459; and at last created cardinal, in 1460, by pope Pius II. This learned pontiff gave him afterwards the bishopric of Camerino, and made use of his abilities on several occasions. Oliva died shortly after at Tivola, where the court of Rome then resided, in 1463. His corpse was carried to the church of the Augustin monks at Rome, | where there is a marble monument, with an epitaph, and a Latin tetrastic by way of eulogium. His works are, “De Christi ortu sermones centum”' “De ccena cum apostolis facta;” “De peccato in spiritum sanctum; Orationes elegantes.1