Luke Wadding

Luke Wadding

Luke Wadding (16 October 1588 - 18 November 1657), Irish Franciscan friar and historian,


Wadding was born in 16 October 1588 at Waterford to Walter Wadding of Waterford, a wealthy merchant, [Macgee, TD, " [ Gallery of Irish Writers: The Irish Writers of the Seventeenth Century] " (1857) pp.90-102] and his wife, Anastasia Lombard (sister of Peter Lombard, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland). ["ibid"] Educated at the school of Mrs. Jane Barden in Waterford and of Peter White in Kilkenny, in 1604 he went to study in Lisbon and at University of Coimbra.

He died on 18 November 1657, and is buried in the church of the College of San Isidore, in Rome.

In 1900 his portrait and part of his library were in the Franciscan convent on Merchant’s Quay, Dublin. He was a man of the most thorough loyalty to his country and to his order, of extensive learning, free from all desire for personal aggrandisement, and of an unlimited benevolence. His life was written by Francis Harold, his nephew. The learned Bonaventura Baron was another nephew.


Wadding became a Franciscan in 1607, and spent his novitiate at Matozinhos. He was ordained priest in 1613 by John Emanuel, bishop of Viseo, and in 1617 he was made president of the Irish College at University of Salamanca, and Master of Students and Professor of Divinity. ["ibid"] The next year He went to Rome (1618) as chaplain to the Spanish ambassador, Bishop Antonio Trejo de Sande.

He collected the funds for the establishment of the Irish College of St Isidore in Rome, for the education of Irish priests, opened 24 June 1625, with four lecturers — Anthony O’Hicidh of a famous literary family in Thomond, Martin Breatanach from Donegal, Patrick Fleming from Louth, and John Ponce from Cork. He gave the college a library of five thousand printed books and eight hundred manuscripts, and thirty resident students soon came. Wadding was rector for fifteen years. From 1630 to 1634 he was procurator of the Franciscans at Rome, and vice commissary from 1645 to 1648.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Irish catholics in the war of 1641, and his college became the strongest advocate of the Irish cause in Rome. This spirit of patriotism, originated by Wadding, it has ever since retained, so that Sir George Errington, who was sent by Gladstone to explain the relation of English and Irish politics in Rome, reported that those Irish politicians thought most extreme in England were conservatives compared with the collegians of St. Isodore. Wadding sent officers and arms to Ireland, and induced Pope Innocent X to send there Giovanni Battista Rinuccini. The confederate catholics petitioned Pope Urban VIII to make Wadding a cardinal, but the rector of the Irish College found means to intercept the petition, and it remained in the archives of the college.

He also founded the Ludovisi College for Irish clergy.Fact|date=September 2008

Through Wadding's efforts, St. Patrick's Day became a feast day.

In 2000 the Waterford Institute of Technology dedicated a new library building to his name.


A voluminous writer, his chief work was the "Annales Minorum" in 8 folio volumes (1625-1654), re-edited in the 18th century and continued up to the year 1622; it is the classical work on Franciscan history. He published also a "Bibliotheca" of Franciscan writers, an edition of the works of Duns Scotus, and the first collection of the writings of St Francis of Assisi.

He published in all thirty-six volumes - fourteen at Rome, twenty-one at Lyons, and one at Antwerp.

* "Annales Minorum", in eight volumes (1625-54);
* "Duns Scotus" in twelve volumes (1639, fol.)
* "πρενβεία" published at Louvain (1624):a treatise on the immaculate conception of the Virgin, . The doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin, the works of Duns Scotus, and the history of the Franciscan order were his favourite subjects of study.
* "De Hebraicæ origine, præstantia, et utilitate" :his essay is prefixed to the concordance of the Hebrew scriptures of Marius de Collasio, which Wadding prepared for the press in 1621.


* Gibson & Cumming, " [ A Preservative Against Popery, in Several Select Discourses Upon the Principal Heads of Controversy Between Protestants and Papists] " (1849) p.139
*1911|article=Luke Wadding|url=
*DNB at ws|

Referred works

*Harold, Francis, "Vita Fratris Lucae Waddingi" (1731)
*Ware, James, "The Whole Works of Sir James Ware Concerning Ireland" (1764)
*Webb, Alfred, "A Compendium of Irish Biography: Comprising Sketches of Distinguised Irishmen" (1878)
*Anderson, Christopher, " [ Historical Sketches of the Ancient Native Irish and Their Descendants] " (1830)
* Meehan, Charles Patrick, "The rise and fall of the Irish Franciscan monasteries, and memoirs of the Irish hierarchy in the seventeenth century" (1877)
* O'Shea, Joseph A, 'The Life of Father Luke Wadding, Founder of St. Isidore's College, Rome' (1885)

External links

* [ Catholic Encyclopedia entry]
*worldcat id|lccn-n87-804382

See also

List of people on stamps of Ireland

NAME = Wadding, Luke
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Irish Franciscan
DATE OF BIRTH = 16 October 1588
PLACE OF BIRTH = Waterford, Ireland
DATE OF DEATH = 18 November 1657
PLACE OF DEATH = Rome, Italy

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