Biography of Alejandro Geraldini (1455-1523)

Religious Italian born in 1455 in Amelia and died in 1524 in Santo Domingo. He was one of the first Dominican bishops, promoter of the construction of the first cathedral of the Indies, which concluded and where he is buried.

Alessandro Geraldini (Gerardini for Spaniards) was born from a Florentine family. You know the name of his mother, Graciosa Geraldini, who took the last name, but not his father. He traveled to Spain very young, in the company of his uncle Antonio Gerardini, nuncio of the Pope at the Spanish Court, and served the Catholic Kings in the war against Portugal. In Spain he befriended Columbus, encouraging him in his discoverers projects. It was Ambassador Fernando el Católico in France and England. On his return from the latter country received sacred orders and had reputation of renowned humanist. Butler of the Queen was Isabel la Catolica, its greater chaplain and teacher of the infantas. He was named Bishop of Volterra and Montecorvino between 1496 and 1506, and in the last of these years was Bishop of Santo Domingo. He couldn't go, however, to his diocese by having to carry a diplomatic mission to England, sending two delegates so that they occupy the Dominican headquarters. These rehearsals appropriated the goods of the bishopric, as I report the judge Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón. The goods were important, because it was then erecting the first cathedral of Indies, since the existing until then was straw.

Gerardini ended his diplomatic mission in England and sailed to its headquarters, where he directed the construction of the first cathedral in America, and had many clashes with the civil authorities. He died in Santo Domingo March 8, 1524 and was buried in the chapel of the Christ of the Cathedral which had been built as its first bishop.


BENZO DE FERRER, V. passengers to the Spanish (1492-1530). Santo Domingo, 2000.

YBOT LEON, TO. The Church and the Spanish clergy in the company of the Indies. Madrid, Salvat Editores, S.A., 1962.