February 13th 1585 - Salmerón Alonso
† in Naples
Salmerón was born on September 6th 1515 in Toledo. At the University of Alcalá, where he studied old languages and literature, the richly talented student already attained the degree of Master of Arts at an age of eighteen.
During his further studies (philosophy and theology) in Paris he joined the friend circle of Ignatius and took also part in the pilgrimage vows on Montmartre in 1934.
Pope Paul III appointed Salmerón and at the same time Laínez and Le Jay theologians of the Trent Council. Salmerón's juvenile appearance, his splendid chains of reasoning, and the elegance of his speech inspired even those bishops who at first did not seem delighted at all. At the day of the Evangelist John he gave a Latin speech before the high meeting, which pleased so much that it appeared as separate print, an honour granted to no other speaker in Trent.
Apart from the tasks of a Council Theologian Salmerón devoted himself to the pastoral in the confessional and on the pulpit, and to the service of the sick, the poor and the prisoners.
He was closely friendly with the three years older Laínez. In Alcala the two had heard a lot about Ignatius. They went to Paris not only to study but also to get to know Ignatius. Both joined the friend circle and took also part in the pilgrimage vows on Montmartre.
Ignatius called Alonso in 1551 to Rome for the discussions about the constitutions of the new Order. About that time in Naples a college was opened. One needed a representative figure. Ignatius sent Salmerón, who took the hearts by storm. The Pope sent him again to Trent. At the end of July 1555 he accompanied on behalf of the Pope the Nuncio on his journeys to the Imperial Diet in Augsburg, to Poland, Ireland and Belgium.
When Laínez established the Order Province Naples, he appointed Salmerón Provincial. He remained it for nearly eighteen years, until he was replaced 1576 by Claudius Aquaviva who originated from Naples and was not yet thirty five years old when he became Provincial.
In the last decade of his life Salmerón could unfold a rich literary activity. His Bible Commentary on the New Testament covers sixteen volumes which were published in Madrid and in Cologne only after his death.
On February 13th 1585 Salmerón died 'animo tranquillissimo', as the sources say, i.e. his soul was completely calm and longed eagerly for the heavenly light.
In his funeral took part the Archbishop of Naples, the Cathedral Chapter and the entire clergy. The mourning crowd was so large that the stewards could hardly master the situation. They could not prevent that the deceased, who rested in an open coffin, was considerably tousled by the relic snatching crowd.
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