Anthroponyms seta CÉSPEDES, Gregório de (1551-1611)

A member of the Society of Jesus that mainly worked in Japan, he was born in Madrid in 1551 and passed away in Kokura in December 1611. The son of Dom Fernando Céspedes de Oviedo, who was licensed and was appointed corregidor and resident judge of Madrid in 1550, and of Dona Joana Maria de Simancas, he entered the Society in Salamanca on 28 January 1569 and departed to India on 10 March 1574 onboard the carrack ship Constantina, where he arrived on 6 September 1574. There he received his priestly ordination in 1575, departing to Macau in 1576 and arriving in Japan in 1577. He worked in the area of Miyako between 1579 and 1587, first in the provinces of Mino and Owari, but he did not have a fixed address and had the task of going from one fortress to another with his brother Paulo de Amakusa. Later, in 1584, he was appointed the superior of the Takatsuki residence, and in the following year, he started visiting Osaka. In 1586, he visited Shodoshima Island, which belonged to Konishi Yukinaga, arriving in Arima in 1588, a region where he started working, reaching the position of vice-rector of the Arima house in 1592. In November of that year, he took his last vows as a trained spiritual coadjutor in Hachirao, leaving for Korea in 1593. Before reaching the peninsula, he had the chance of preaching on Tsushima Island, where Konishi Yukinaga?s daughter Maria lived. He arrived in Korea on 27 December 1593 and returned to Japan in 1595, resuming work in the region of Arima. In 1600, he was in the Nakatsu residence in Buzen, and in 1602 he founded the one of Kokura, of which he was the superior until his death.

COSTA, João Paulo Oliveira e, O Cristianismo no Japão e o Episcopado de D. Luís de Cerqueira, dissertação de doutoramento em História apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, 1998 (texto fotocopiado). Monumenta Historica Japoniae, dir. de Josef Franz Schütte S. J., Roma, Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1975.

Author: Helena Rodrigues
Translated by: John Silva

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