Saint Francis Solano

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Francis Solano; date unknown, artist unknown; Templo del Hospital, Acámbaro, Estado de Guanajuato, México; photographed on 22 September 2012 by Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Francis Solanus
  • Francisco Solano
  • Thaumaturgus of the New World
  • Wonder Worker of the New World



Son of Matthew Sanchez Solanus and Anna Ximenes, Andalusian nobles. Joined the Franciscans at age 20. Preacher for many years in southern Spain. Novice master at Arifazza. Worked with plague victims in Granada in 1583; caught the plague himself, but recovered.

Missionary to South America with Father Balthazar Navarro in 1589. After some time in Panama they took ship to travel south. The ship carried slaves, and Francis worked to evanglize them. During a strong storm, the ship ran aground. The captain abandoned the ship and its slave cargo to the rocks, but Francis stayed, baptizing them just before the ship broke apart on the rocks. Francis kept his little flock together and safe for three days until help arrived.

He spent the rest of his life as a missionary, travelling throughout South America, but especially around Lima, Peru, working with the natives and Spanish colonists. Reputed to have converted 9,000 natives during a single sermon. Learned many native languages and dialects quickly, and it is said that he preached to tribes of different tongues in one language and was understood by all. Could play the lute, and was known to play and sing before the altar. Noted healer. Custos of the Franciscan convents in Tucuman and Paraguay. Elected guardian of the Franciscan convent in Lima. Foretold both the destruction of Truxillo by an earthquake, and his own death.






MLA Citation

  • “Saint Francis Solano“. CatholicSaints.Info. 3 July 2021. Web. 22 October 2021. <>