Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PADILLA, Diego Francisco (pah-deel'-yah), Colombian patriot, born in Bogota in 1754; died in Boyaca in 1829. He entered the order of St. Austin in his youth, and became one of the most famous preachers of his time. In 1785 he was sent as commissioner to the general chapter of his order in Rome, and was chosen to deliver the inaugural address before Pope Plus VI. Without making use of the customary license to read his address, he delivered it in Latin from memory with such eloquence and purity of language that the pope offered him any mitre he should choose, but Padilla refused all honors. He returned to Bogota and gave himself entirely to his studies, preaching and writing treatises and pamphlets on matters of public interest, of which he published forty-nine before 1809. By the liberal principles that he advocated therein he prepared the public mind for liberty. When General Pablo Morillo (q. v.) conquered Colombia, Padilla was sent as a prisoner to Spain and confined for a long time in Seville and Cadiz. During the liberal movement of 1820 he was set at liberty and returned to his country, dying in Boyaca, where he had been appointed parish priest.
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