Osorio (or Osorius), Geronimo (1)
Osorio (Or Osorius), Geronimo (1), a learned Roman Catholic Portuguese divine, aind an excellent writer, the descendant of an illustrious family, was born at Lisbon in 1506. Showing an extraordinary inclination for literature, he was sent, at thirteen, to the University of Salamanca, and there learned Greek and Latin, and studied the law. At nineteen he removed to Paris, to be instructed in Aristotle's philosophy. From Paris he went to Bologna, where he devoted himself to theology, learned Hebrew, and studied the Bible, in which he became so great a master that, on his return home, John III, king of Portugal, appointed him professor of divinity at Coimbra. Taking priest's orders, he was given the care of the church of Tayora by Dom Lewis, infante of Portugal, and soon after the archdeaconry of Evora by cardinal Henry, archbishop of that province, and brother to king John; and at last he was nominated to the bishopric of Sylves by Catharine of Austria, that king's widow, who was regent of the kingdom during the minority of her grandson Sebastian. When this prince became of the proper age for the personal administration of his kingdom, he resolved upon an expedition against the Moors in Africa, much against the persuasions of Osorio, who thereupon, to avoid being an eye-witness of the calamities he dreaded, made various pretenses to go to Rome. Here pope Gregory XIII gave Osorio many testimonies of his esteem; but he had not been absent above a twelvemonth when the king called him home. Not long after this Sebastian was slain in a battle against the Moors, Aug. 4, 1578. During the tumults in Portugal which succeeded this fatal event Osorio labored incessantly to prevent the people of his diocese from joining in them; and failing in this effort, he laid it so deeply to heart that he died of grief, August, 1580. He is much commended for his piety and charity. He maintained several learned men in his palace, and at meals had some portion out of St. Bernard's works read, after which all present were at liberty to propose any difficulties that occurred upon it. As a writer, Du Pin observes that his diction is easy and elegant. for which reason he is called the Cicero of Portugal, as being a great imitator of Cicero, both in style, choice of subjects, and manner of treating them. His compositions are not intermixed with quotations, but consist of connected reasonings. He does not endeavor in his Commentaries and Paraphrases to explain the terms of the text, but to extend the sense of it, and show its order and series fully. These were collected and published at Rome (1592, in 4 vols. fol.) by Jerome Osorio, his nephew, who prefixed his uncle's life to the edition. The titles of his works are: De nobilitate civili, et de nobilitate Christiana: — De gloria (printed with the foregoing; some have thought this last to have been written by Cicero, and that Osorio found it and published it as his own): — De regis institutione etdisciplina: — De rebus Emanuelis regis invictissimi virtute et auspicio gestis: — Item, cun prcefatione Joannis Metelli, de reperta India: — De justitia ccelesti, lib. x, ad Reginaldum Polum Cardinalen: — De vera sapientia, lib. v, ad Gregorium XII, P. M. — besides paraphrases and commentaries upon several parts of Scripture. He wrote to queen Elizabeth of England and exhorted her to turn papist. He was answered by Walter Haddon, master of the requests to that queen. See Genesis Biog. Diet. s.v.; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.; Aschbach, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.; Hallam, Introd. to the Liter. of Europe, 1:258.