Wadding, Luke

, an eminent Irish Roman catholic, and reckoned a great ornament to his country, was born at Waterford, Oct. 16, 1588. His first studies were begun at home under the tuition of his brother Matthew, who took him to Portugal in the fifteenth year of his age, and placed him in a seminary established for the Irish at Lisbon, where he applied to philosophy for six months under the direction of the Jesuits. In 1605, after having passed his noviciate, he was admitted among the Franciscans, and afterwards continued his studies at their convents at Liria, at Lisbon, and afterwards at Coimbra, in all which places he was admired for the diligence and success of his application. After being admitted into priest’s orders he removed to Salamanca, where he continued some time, and was made superintendant of the students, and lecturer in divinity, in both which offices he gave great satisfaction. In 1618, when Anthony a Trejo, vicar-general of the Franciscans, was advanced to the bishopric of Carthagena, in Spain, and appointed legate extraordinary to pope Paul V. upon one of those disputes which frequently agitated the Romish church, respecting the immaculate conception, the bishop, although he had the choice of many men of the Spanish nation, eminent for learning and talents in business, yet preferred Wadding to be chaplain of this embassy, although then but thirty years old, and a foreigner.

Accordingly, having introduced our divine at court, the bishop took him with him to Rome, where they were lodged in the palace of cardinal Gabriel a Trejo, the bishop’s brother, who employed Wadding in compiling or composing from the libraries and archives of Rome such arguments and proofs as related to the question before them; and he | even visited Assisi, Perugia, Naples, and many other places fr the same purpose. Besides this, at the request of some who had perused what he had brought together with great satisfaction, he was induced to write a history of that legation, not indeed with a view to publication, but having intrusted the ms to some who were of opinion it ought not to be concealed, it was at last published by Maximilian de Bouchorne, at Louvaine, under the title “Legatio Philippi III. et IV. Hispaniae regum, ad sanctissimos D. D. Paulum V- et Gregorium XV. et Urbanum VIII. pro definienda controversia conceptions B. Mariae Virginia; per illustrissimum, &c. Anthonium a Trejo,” &c. Lonvain, 1624, folio.

But while this legation was going on, he removed from the cardinal’s palace, as enjoying there a course of life which he thought incompatible with his profession of Franciscan, and took up his residence at the Franciscan-convent of St. Peter, where he was honoured with the respect of many of the dignified ecclesiastics of Rome; and on the departure of the bishop to Spain, when the care of the legation was entrusted to the duke of Albuquerque, the Spanish ambassador at Rome, Wadding was appointed his assistant, and was, says his biographer, the life of the whole negotiation. He wrote three pamphlets on the subject of the immaculate conception, the titles of which we may be excused from giving. During the time he could spare from the business of this legation, he published an edition of some works of St. Francis, from Mss. in the public libraries, under the title of “Opusculorum St. Francisci Libri tres,Antwerp, 1623. Before this time he performed what will probably be thought a more acceptable service to theological studies, in undertaking to print Calasio’s Concordance (see Calasio). Calasio died at Rome, wliile Wadding was there, leaving this large work in manuscript. Wadding, who saw its merits, regretted that it should be lost; and being unable of himself to defray the expence of printing, applied to pope Paul V. and to Benignus a Genua, the general of the Franciscans, by whose encouragement the whole was published at Rome in 1621, 4 vols, folio, under the inspection of Wadding, who prefixed to it a learned treatise “De Hebraic lingoos origine, praestaiitia et militate.Pope Paul dying while the work was in the press, he dedicated it to his successor, Gregory XV. He published also, from | original Mss. the works of some other Spanish divines, and wrote a life of Thomasius, patriarch of Constantinople, “Vita B. Petri Thomce Aquitani Carmelitse,” &c. Lyons, 1637, 8vo. But the most labourius effort of editorship was his rescuing from obscurity all the manuscript copies of Duns Scotus’s works, transcribing, collating, and correcting, and afterwards publishing the whole, in twelve folio volumes, at Lyons, in 1639.

In the mean time, his reputation had so much increased that in 1630, he was appointed procurator for the Franciscans at Rome, which he held until 1634. In 1645, he was appointed vice-commissary of his order, which it appears he resigned in 1648. He was also, in 1625, the founder of the college of St. Isidore, for the education of Irish students of the Franciscan order, of which he was the first guardian or head. The expenses of this college, the chapel, library, &c. were defrayed by contributions from the people of Rome, out of regard to the founder. He also persuaded cardinal Ludovisius to found a secular college there for six Irish students; and this, and some other institutions, suggested and promoted by him, he lived to see well endowed. His influence, from whatever cause, appears to have been very great; but the worst, and, as his biographers say, the only stain on his character, is the encouragement he gave to the Irish rebellion and massacre in 1641. He died Nov. 18, 1657, and was buried in the chapel of St. Isidore. Not long before his death he had refused the promotion to the rank of cardinal.

Wadding published some other treatises than we have mentioned, and left many in manuscript; but he lived to finish what had b.een the employment of many years, a history of his order, and the eminent men it has produced. This he completed in eight volumes, folio, at Lyons, 1625 1654. A new and enlarged edition has been since published at Rome, under the title of “Waddingi Lucse Annales Minorum, seu historia trium ordinum a S. Francisco institutorurn, editio secunda, studio Jos. Mar. Fonseca,1731—45, 19vols. fol. 1

1 Hairis’s edition of Ware.