Thomas of San Martin

A brief biography.  


Thomas of San Martin y Contreras was born 7th March 1482 in Cordoba, Spain, and joined the Dominican Order in 1498. After his studies he became lector, magister and regens studii in the priory of Sevilla and sailed with a group of Dominican missionaries from San Lucar (Spain) to Peru on 19th January 1530. This  group of missionaries accompanied Francisco Pizarro in his discovery of Peru, 1530-1533. In 1539 the Dominicans founded the province Saint John the Baptist in Peru, approved by the bull of Pope Paul III ‘Cum sicut accepimus –‘ on 28th December 1539. The first Provincial was Thomas of San Martin, since 4th January 1540. Together with the first archbishop of Lima, the Dominican Jeronimo de Loayza (+1535), he was zealous for the foundation of an University. After visits to Spain, Germany, and to the court of Charles V, he received the papers to found the University of San Marcos, situated in the Dominican priory of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Lima, on 12th Mai 1551. The Pope Pius V approved the University on July 25, 1571. The University was in the priory till 1577.

Thomas, appointed bishop of Charcas (now Sucre in Bolivia) on June 27, 1552, was consecrated on 29 March 1553 and died before he could go to Charcas, in Lima on March 9, 1554. He wrote a catechism for the Indian people. 

: Perca, O.P., Guillermo Alvarez : Historia de la Orden Dominicana en   

        el Peru Siglos XVI- XVII. Lima 1997, p. 162-170.



The fourth centenary of the University San Marcos in Lima (1551-1951).At the left the Spanish Dominican Thomas of San Martin y Contreras (07.03.1482-29.03.1553), the  founder of the University
San Marcos,
and on the right Jeronimo Aliaga y Ramirez (1510-1569). 


Peru 1951, Mi 507, Sc C109.




On this stamp from the left: Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo Rocha y Benavides (1663-1743), Thomas of San Martin, O.P. and José
y Carrillo de Cordova (1751-1810).


Peru 1951, Mi 510, Sc C112.



Centenary of Peruvian postage stamps 1857 -1957.
Shield of Lima containing stamps, among them Peru 1951, Mi 507, Sc C109:
fifth line number 4: Thomas of San Martin.


Peru 1957, Mi 1537, Sc C140.





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