« Avignon Avila, Juan de Avitus, Alcimus Ecdicius »

Avila, Juan de

AVILA, ā´vî-lā, JUAN DE: Ascetic writer, called the apostle of Andalusia; b. at Almodovar del Campo (16 m. s.w. of Ciudad Real) in the archdiocese of Toledo, between 1494 and 1500; d. in Montilla (18 m. s.e. of Cordova) May 10, 1569. In 1516 he entered the University of Salamanca to study law, but soon retired to his home and lived a strict ascetic life for three years. Then he studied theology at Alcala under Domingo de Soto. Having been admitted to orders, he continued his ascetic life and won fame as a preacher in different places. Through envy he was brought before the Inquisition and refused to defend himself, but was acquitted for his exemplary life. At the age of fifty he went into retirement, broken in body by his exertions in preaching and ascetic practises; thenceforth he addressed smaller circles and devoted himself to writing. He declined a profferred appointment as canon in Grenada, as well as the bishopric of Segovia and the archbishopric of Grenada. His tomb in the Jesuits’ Church at Montilla bears the inscription, Magistro Johanni Avilæ, Patri optimo, Viro integerrimo, Deique amantissimo, Filii ejus in Christo, Pos [uerunt]. His writings were collected in nine volumes at Madrid, 1757; the chief were Audi filia and the Cartas espirituales (in vol. xiii of the Biblioteca de Autores Españoles, Madrid, 1850).

K. Benrath.

Bibliography: Life in Spanish by Luis de Grenada (d. 1588) in vol. iii, pp 451-486, of his works, Madrid, 1849; N. Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana nova, i, 639-642, Madrid, 1783; L. degli Oddi, Life of the Blessed Master John of Avila, transl. from the Italian, Quarterly Series, vol. xcvii, London, 1898.

« Avignon Avila, Juan de Avitus, Alcimus Ecdicius »
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