Don Fray Francisco de Victoria OP (1540—92) Bishop of Tucumán

In December 1581 Fray Francisco de Victoria OP entered the city of Santiago del Estero and took possession of the first cathedral church in the territory which is now Argentina, being the first bishop to arrive there.

Bishop Francisco de Victoria was, so far as I know, the only Portuguese New Christian ever to attain the rank of bishop, and what makes this all the more interesting is the fact that he came from a family with a live tradition of secret Judaism. Two of his brothers, Fernao Lourenco Ramires and Diogo Peres da Costa, migrated to Turkey and converted to Judaism, the latter being burnt in effigy by the Lima Inquisition in 1601,1 while two others, Dr Jeronimo Nunes Ramires and Luis Nunes Victoria, can be shown to have been crypto-Jews.2

These facts raise a number of interesting questions. I propose to examine four of these: was Fray Francisco

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