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Francis Solanus
Francis Solanus with an Incan (Anonymous, c. 1588)
Wonder Worker of the New World
Born 10 March 1549, Andalusia, Spain
Died 14 July 1610, Lima, Perú
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 20 June 1675 by Pope Clement X
Canonized 27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Feast 14 July
Patronage Argentina; Bolivia; Chile; Paraguay; Perú

Francis Solanus (Spanish: Francisco Sánchez-Solano Jiménez; 10 March 1549 – 14 July 1610 AD) was a Spanish missionary in South America, belonging to the Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans).



Francis Solanus was born in Montilla, near Córdoba, Spain. At the age of twenty, he joined the Franciscan Order at Montilla. Several years later he was sent by his superiors to the convent of Arifazza as master of novices. He sailed from Spain to the Americas in 1589 where he went to Peru via a ship on the Pacific side of the Panamanian isthmus.

For twenty years Francis worked at evangelizing the vast regions of Tucuman (present day northwestern Argentina) and Paraguay. He had a skill for languages and succeeded at learning many of the regions' native tongues in a fairly short period. It is claimed that he could also address tribes of different tongues in one language yet be understood by them all. Being a musician as well, Francis also played the violin frequently for the natives, which helped them relate better to him.

After that came Francis' election to guardian of the Franciscan convent in Lima, Peru. Further, he filled the office of custos of the convents of his order in Tucuman and Paraguay. (Among friars the names are reversed. Hence a group of men live in what is called a convent, while women live in a monastery).

Saint Francis and the bull, by Murillo

In 1610 it is said he predicted the devastating 1618 earthquake of Trujillo, Peru. He is also said to have foretold his own death, which occurred in 1610 at Lima, Peru. St. Francis was beatified by Pope Clement X in 1675, and canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. His feast is kept throughout the Franciscan Order on July 24.


Mission San Francisco Solano, the northernmost mission along California's El Camino Real, was named in 1823 for Francis Solanus[1].


This article incorporates text from the entry St. Francis Solanus in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.


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