Blessed, Puebla Bishop,
Reformer, New Spain's Viceroy &
Chief Commander, Patron of Arts, Renaissance man
(Jun 24,1600 - Oct 1,1659) Juan de Palafox
y Mendoza, born in Fitero,
Navarra, Spain, was the ninth and
the most famous bishop of Puebla during the Spanish Viceregal because his
extensive and unmatched work.
As well, he was the great reformer of justice, of the church and the administration of New Spain (colonial Mexico).
In record time of nine years, from 1640 to 1649, he performed during different moments the functions of
Archbishop of Mexico City, Visitor and International Observer of King Philip IV, President of the Royal Audience
and Chief Commander of the Spanish army in the colony. Diplomat, poliglot, educator, refine writer
and poet, lawyer, honest and effective administrator, military strategist, ascetic and discreet man. As builder, Palafox is precursor of the golden age of Puebla
by building the Cathedral church,
the first Tridentine seminary of the Americas, hospitals, schools
and repaired thirty churches. As bishop, Palafox was protector of the Indians,
sponsor of homeless & orphans, and dedicated shepherd of souls of his
As humanist, Palafox sponsored education to street orphans and natives, he promoted the continuing education of the priests in charge, open the first public library of the Americas
(1646) and was patron of arts specially music.
In Mexico, was a righteous and fair judge and he did not doubt to dismiss the viceroy in turn guilty of corruption.
An authentic Renaissance man. In 2011, Juan de Palafox was beatified (beato) by Pope Benedict XVI.