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(174 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] Soler, Mariano (25.3.1846 San Carlos, Uruguay – 26.9.1908), 1868–1874 theol. Studien an der Gregoriana in Rom, Promotion zum Dr. theol., 1872 Priesterweihe. 1875 nach Uruguay zurückgekehrt, gründete S. den Kath. Club von Montevideo, ein Lyzeum für Universitätsstudien – die erste freie Universität in Uruguay und die Gesellschaft für Wiss. und Künste. 1879 Pfarrer in Montevideo, 1884–1890 Generalvikar der Diöz. Montevideo; in dieser Zeit reiste S. durch Europa, den Orient, Afrika un…


(614 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] is the largest country in Central America (Latin America), with an area of 20,254 km2. With only 4,813,000 inhabitants it is sparsely settled; 60% of the population are concentrated in the Pacific region. The narrow Pacific coastal plain is bordered to the southwest by a chain of high volcanic peaks, and in the south, parallel to the coast, are two lakes. Earth movements cause frequent earthquakes. To the northeast rises the central mountainous region, while in the east the lowlands cover 40% of the country. Colonization by the Spaniards began in 1523. In the proc…

Rose of Lima, Saint

(230 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (baptized Isabella; Apr 20, 1586, Lima, Peru – Aug 24, 1617, Lima), daughter of Gaspar Flores, a Spanish harquebusier. She displayed a great capacity for self-mortification at an early age. Imitating the sufferings of Christ, she sought nearness to God in fervent prayer, a severe fasting regimen, and penitential exercises. In 1616 she joined the Third Order of Saint Dominic; until the last three years of her life, she stayed with her parents, living in a small grotto in their gard…

Solano, Francisco

(172 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Mar 10, 1549, Mantilla, Andalusia – Jul 14, 1610, Lima, Peru), joined the Franciscan order in 1569 and worked initially as a domestic missionary. In 1589 he was sent to Peru aboard a ship carrying African slaves; from Peru he was sent to Santiago del Estero in what is now Argentina. Using that as a base, he preached the gospel for 15 years among the Tonokoté, counseled their chiefs, and healed the sick. He returned to the Franciscan house in Lima as guardian. Today many places in…

Confederación Latinoamericana de Religiosos (CLAR)

(380 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (CLAR) was founded on Mar 2, 1959 at the wish of the Apostolic See and the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM) with approbation of the statutes. It is subject to the papal Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and consists of the national conferences of the leaders of the higher orders of the Latin American and Caribbean countries. The executive board consists of the president and three representatives. Th…


(142 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] Higüey, a place of pilgrimage in the Dominican Republic with possibly the oldest miraculous image of the Virgin Mary in Latin America (older than 1514). It is painted on fine linen and depicts the birth of Jesus. It came from the personal property of the Trejos brothers and was donated to the parish of Higüey as a token of gratitude for acts of mercy. Its veneration quickly spread to the entire island. In 1572, the first pilgrimage church was consecrated in honor of Nuestra Señora…

Varela, Felix

(235 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Nov 20, 1788, Havana – Feb 25, 1853, Saint Augustine, FL), son of a Spanish colonel. After his mother’s early death, he grew up with his grandparents and completed his secondary studies in Havana. He entered the San Carlos seminary at the age of 14, then studied at the University of Havana; he was ordained to the priesthood in 1811. From 1812 he was professor of philosophy, physics, and ethics at the semi-¶ nary; he also founded the first faculty of law in Latin America and the Havana Philharmonic. Elected to the Spanish tribunal as a representative o…


(625 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] is the second largest country in Central America with an area of 112,088 km2. The northeast is defined by a plain; otherwise low mountain ranges dominate. Honduras was discovered in 1502 on the fourth journey of Christopher Columbus and was colonized after 1520/1524 by Spanish conquerors. At the time of the Conquista, Honduras was inhabited by some 400,000 Indians, predominantly Mayas and Lencas. The number was reduced to 15,000 by 1539 by excessive forced labor and the sale of slaves to Cuba,…

Claret, Antonio Maria, Saint

(216 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Dec 23, 1807, Sallent, Spain – Oct 24, 1870, Fontfroide, France), the son of a weaver, first learned the weaving trade, then entered the seminary for priests at Vich in 1829, was ordained a priest in 1835, and was a Jesuit novitiate for a few months in 1839, but discontinued after becoming ill. After 1841, in a time of political unrest (Carlist War), Claret was a missionary among the people in Catalonia and in the Caribbean islands. In 1849, he …


(567 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] The Republic of Panama, at the southeast end of Central America, has an area of 77,082 km2; two mountain ranges run through it. At its narrowest point, the Panama Canal links the Pacific and Atlantic. Panama includes 116 islands in the Pacific and 630 in the Atlantic. The population is roughly 2.8 million, of whom 60% are mestizos or mulattos, 14% blacks, 12% whites, 8% Indians, and 2% Asians. Panama was discovered by Spain in 1501; in 1509 the city of Santa Maria la Antigua del Darién was founded, and in 1519 Panama City. The original indigenous p…

El Cobre

(151 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] A place of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary in eastern Cuba, near Santiago, and named after the local copper mines. The devotional image of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad, the patroness of Cuba, is venerated there. Among the many hypotheses concerning its origins, the best known recounts its discovery by two Indians and an African slave in the Bay of Nipe in 1612/1613. El Cobre is a symbol of national integration and the place where the abolition of slavery was proclaimed. The Te Deum was sung there on the occasion of Cuba's independence from Spain. Alexandra Toepsch Bibl…

Romero, Oscar Arnulfo

(594 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Aug 15, 1917, Ciudad Barrios, Departimento San Miguel, El Salvador – Mar 24, 1980, San Salvador), son of a municipal employee. After completing his basic education he learned joinery. In 1937 he entered the “small seminary” in San Miguel and the priests’ seminary in San Salvador. In the same year he was sent to Rome to study at the Gregorian University, where he was ordained priest in 1942. From 1944 Romero worked as a parish priest in his home diocese of San Miguel. In 1966 he w…

Soler, Mariano

(223 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Mar 25, 1846, San Carlos, Uruguay – Sep 26, 1908, Gibraltar), studied theology from 1868 to 1874 at the Gregorianum in Rome, earning a Dr.theol. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1872. In 1875 he returned to Uruguay, where he founded the Catholic Club of Montevideo, a lyceum for university studies – the first free university in Uruguay and the Society of Science and the Arts. In 1879 he became a parish priest in Montevideo. From 1884 to 1890, he served as vicar general of the …

Dominican Republic

(846 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern portion of the second largest island in the Caribbean and encompasses 48,734 km2. C. Columbus discovered it in 1492 and claimed it in 1493 for the Spanish crown under the name Hispanola (previously Quisqueya or Haití). After a turbulent history under Spanish, French, Colombian and Haitian rule, the eastern portion of the island declared independence from Haiti in 1844 and took the name the Dominican Republic. In 1861, it once again came under Spanish rule. The withdrawal of the Spanish troops in 1865 provided for the inception of the second independent republic. The USA took occupation o…


(201 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] von Lima (Taufname Isabella; 20.4.1586 Lima, Peru – 24.8.1617 ebd.), Tochter des span. Gardisten Gaspar Flores. Seit früher Kindheit zeichnete sie eine große Leidensfähigkeit aus. In innigem Gebet, harten…


(500 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] ist mit 120 254 km 2 Fläche das größte Land Zentralamerikas (Lateinamerika) und mit nur 4,813 Mio. Einwohnern dünn besiedelt; 60% der Gesamtbevölkerung konzentrieren sich in der Pazifikregion.…


(493 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] . Die demokratische Republik P. im äußersten Südosten Zentralamerikas umfaßt ein Territorium von 77 082 km 2 und wird von zwei Gebirgsketten durchzogen. Der Panamakanal verbindet an der schmalsten Stelle Pazifik und Atlantik. Zu P. gehören im Pazifik 116, im Atlantik 630 Inseln. Von den ca.2,8 Mio. Einwohnern sind 60% Mestizen und Mulatten, 14% Schwarze, 12% Weiße, 8% Indios und 2% Asiaten. P. wurde 1501 von Spaniern entdeckt, 1509 die Stadt Santa Maria la Antigua del Darie´n gegründet, 1519 Panama´-Stadt. Die indigenen Ureinwohner wur…


(517 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] Romero, Oscar Arnulfo (15.8.1917 Ciudad Barrios, Departimento San Miguel, El Salvador – 24.3.1980 San Salvador). Der Sohn eines städtischen Angestellten erlernte nach Abschluß der Grundschule das Schreinerhandwerk, trat 1937 ins »Kleine Seminar« in San Miguel und ins Priesterseminar in San Salvador ein. Noch im gleichen Jahr wurde er zum Studium an die Gregoriana nach Rom entsandt und empfing dort 1942 die Priesterweihe. Ab 1944 wirkte R. als Pfarrer in seiner Heimatdiöz. San Migue…


(160 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] Solano, Francisco (10.3.1549 Mantilla, Andalusien – 14.7.1610 Lima, Peru), trat 1569 in den Franziskanerorden ein und wirkte zunächst als Missionar in der Heimat. 1589 wurde er an Bord eines Schiffes mit afrikanischen Sklaven nach Peru entsandt, von dort n…


(195 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[English Version] Varela, Felix (20.11.1788 La Habana – 25.2.1853 San Augustin, FL), Sohn eines span. Oberst. Nach frühem Tod der Mutter wuchs er bei den Großeltern auf; Sekundarstudien in Habana. Mit 14 Jahren Eintritt ins Priesterseminar San Carlos, Studien an der Universität von Habana, 1811 Priesterweihe. Ab 1812 Prof. für Philos., Physik und Ethik, Gründer der ersten Rechtsfakultät Lateinamerikas und der Philharmonie von Habana. 1822 zum Volksvertreter am span. Gerichtshof gewählt, trat er für Aufhebung der …


(114 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] Luján, pilgrimage (III, 2.b) site in Argentina northwest of Buenos Aires, symbol of the national and religious identity of the Argentinian people. A miraculous statue was brought to Luján by ship from Brazil in 1630 at the request of a Portuguese immigrant, a …
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