Gatti, Giovanni Andrea

Gatti, Giovanni Andrea a Sicilian prelate, was born at Messina in 1420. He entered the Dominican order, and, while young, taught in their convent at Messina, excelling all his contemporaries in philosophy and theology, civil and canonical law, belles-lettres and eloquence, Greek, and especially familiar with Latin. and Hebrew. To his extensive knowledge was added a very remarkable memory. From Messina he went to Rome as professor. Florence, Bologna, and Ferrara enjoyed successively his lectures, which had become celebrated throughout all the scholastic world. He was among the most familiar friends of Bessarion, who caused him to be appointed, in 1468, commendatory abbot of two Benedictine convents in Sicily. According to Fontana, he had already performed the functions of inquisitor in the diocese of Messina. Ferdinand I conferred upon him the bishopric of Cealu, ant employed him in various missions to the holy see. The sovereign, pontiff promised him the bishopric of Catania by apostolic letters of December 18, 1477; but king Ferdinand objected, and Gaiti resigned it. He returned to Cefalt and devoted himself to the administration of his diocese. Feeling that death, was near, he resigned his functions in 1483, and went to end his days at the convent of Messina, where he commenced his religious life. He died in 1484, and was interred in the Cathedral of Messina. Mongitore attributes to him some works, which are preserved in MS. at the monastery of St. Dominic, Palermo. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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