Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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LACUNZA, Manuel (la-koon'-thah), South American clergyman, born in Santiago, Chili, 19 July, 1731; died in Imola, Italy, 17 June, 1801. He studied in Santiago, and became a Jesuit on 7 September, 1747. in 1767, on the suppression of his order, he was expelled by the Spanish government, and spent the remainder of his life in Imola, Italy, where he lived in seclusion and passed the nights in observing the stars. In cloudy nights he took long solitary walks in the outskirts of the town, where he was found one morning drowned in a pool. He wrote a work that attracted much attention both in Europe and America, entitled " La venida del Mesias en gloria y majestad: Observaclones de Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra, Hebreo Cristiano, dirigidas al sacerdote Cristefilo Atico Romano," which was edited after Lacunza's death at the expense of General Belgrano, the envoy of the republic of Buenos Ayres (4 vols., London, 1816; 3 vols., Paris, 1826; Latin translation, 5 vols., Mexico, 1825); an imperfect edition has already been published (2 vols., Cadiz, 1813). The author attempts to prove from the Bible that the second advent of Christ will take place before the final judgment. His book was placed on the Index Expurgatorius by a decree of 6 September, 1824. Father Lacunza was also the author of some poems and orations.
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