Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Spanish priest and poet, better known by his pseudonym of Tirso de Molina, b. at Madrid, c. 1571; d. at Soria, Aragón, 21 March, 1648. Little is known of his early years except that he studied at Alcalá de Henares. The exact date of his ordination to the priesthood is not known, but the earliest notice of him in that connexion is in 1610 when he is mentioned by Andrés de Claramonte y Corroy in his "Letanía Moral ", as Padre Fray Gabriel Téllez of the order of Nuestra Señora de la Merced. He appears to have devoted the last years of his life to the affairs of his order and occupied responsible offices in it. In 1619 he was superior of a convent at Trujillo in Estremadura; in 1620, and for several years following, he lived in the monastery of the order in Madrid ; and in 1645 he became prior of the monastery at Soria where he died three years later. It has been stated that he adopted his nom de plume on account of his Holy orders , but this theory is apparently disproved by the fact that both names appeared on the same title-page.

Tirso's first printed volume, "Los Cigarrales de Toledo," appeared in Madrid in 1624 and Barcelona, 1631. The name is taken from cigarral , a Toledian word meaning a country house. The work is patterned after Boccaccio's "Decameron" and is a collection of tales and poems and three comedies, supposed to be recited and played by a company of ladies and gentlemen who meet at a cigarral for the purpose of diversion. A second collection, entitled "Deleitar aprovechando," appeared in Madrid in 1635, and contains essays, autos sacramentales , and three religious tales. As a dramatic writer, Tirso was very prolific. He is credited with having written four hundred plays, but only about eighty are now available. During his life his comedies were published in five parts, the first in Seville, 1627, the third in Tortosa, 1634, the second and fourth in Madrid, 1635, and the last in Madrid, 1636. These contain fifty-nine plays. The play which has given Tirso his fame is his "Burlador de Seville y Convidado de Piedra", in which he created the character of Don Juan, afterward immortalized by Mozart in his opera of that name and by Lord Byron in his poem. He is at his best in his comedies and his secular novelas . He excels in wit, originality of dialogue, and ingenuity of plot.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter