Biography of Francisco Javier Alegre (1729-1788)

Poet, historian, humanist and religious hispano-mexicano Jesuit, born in Veracruz in 1729 and died in Bologna (Italy) in 1788. Author of a scholarly research that has allowed to know the details of the settlement and the consolidation of the society of Jesus in the new world, was one of the most outstanding protagonists of an interesting stage of eventful intellectual life in the new Spain of the mid-eighteenth century, in which it excelled also other Veracruz Jesuits as Juan Luis Maneiro, Juan Manuel Carpio, Manuel e Rincon and Juan Olivier Rebolledo.

Strongly interested, since his early youth, by the study of the humanities and cultivation of the literary creation, received a careful intellectual training in the Jesuit convent where he/she soon professed, to then move to develop a tireless teaching work at the heart of the company. It was, for many years, Professor of languages Classics (latin and Greek), rhetoric and philosophy, until in 1767, following the Decree of expulsion of the Jesuits, was forced to leave the territory of the new Spain to move to the Italian city of Bologna, where he/she lived during the last twenty-one years of life.

As installed on the old continent, Francisco Javier Alegre undertook the monumental project of drafting a detailed relationship of the passage of the Jesuits for their native Mexico, comprising from their arrival and settlement in the new world until the time of the enactment of the law that decreed their expulsion from Spain and its colonial Territories (night from 2 to 3 April 1767). This work, entitled history of the society of Jesus in the new Spain, did not see the light until there were over after half a century since the death of its brave author, when in 1841 was published, in Mexico, by the politician, writer and historian Carlos MarĂ­a BustamanteOaxaca. Long before (although also in posthumous) had left the imprint other studies and reflections of Francisco Javier Alegre about the society of Jesus, grouped under the title of institutions theologicas (1791).

Aside from this fruitful dedication of Mexican Jesuit to historical research, he/she is also recalled forward vocational delivery to the cultivation of the poetic genre, reflected in a long epic composition that, centered on the figure of Alejandro Magno, it is known by the title of the Alejandriada. Francisco Javier Alegre also noted in its time, thanks to his excellent command of the classical languages, by their translation work, which is bound to remember your splendid transfer to Spanish of the Iliad of Homer.