Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ORO, Justo de Santa Maria de, Spanish-American bishop, born in San-Juan-de-Cuyo, Argentine Republic, in 1771 ; died there in 1836. He entered the Dominican order early in life, and afterward distinguished himself as a theologian and canonist, teaching theology and philosophy in the convents of St. Dominick and Our Lady of Bethlehem. He received the title of doctor of theology from the University of San Felipe, where he acquired great reputation by his public discussions. He was elected prior in 1804, and conceived the project of founding a congregation connected with the convent of Bethlehem which would pay special attention to education. With this object he set out for Spain in 1809, where he obtained the permission and requisites for the new enterprise. On his return he began the erection of the College of St. Vincent in Apoquindo, which he wished to make the seminary of the new congregation ; but the outbreak of revolution in the provinces of La Plata interrupted his projects. He was an ardent partisan of the national movement, and his countrymen elected him deputy to the national congress of Buenos Ayres. In 1819 he was elected provincial of Santiago, and he insisted that, in this capacity, he had jurisdiction over the convent of Bethlehem, which claimed to be independent of the province. The quarrel that ensued was very bitter, especially as De Oro appealed to the civil power and had one of the monks exiled. In 1830 he was nominated bishop of San-Juan-de-Cuyo.
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