Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Ferdinand Konsag

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 8
Ferdinand Konsag

by Anthony Huonder


A German missionary of the eighteenth century, b. 2 December, 1703, at Warasdin, Croatia; d. 10 September, 1758. Having joined the Society of Jesus in 1719, Konsag — the name is variously written Konschak and (in its Spanish form) Consag or Gonsago — went to Mexico in 1730, and after 1732 worked principally an the mission of Lower California, of which he was one of the most prominent apostles. He was at first superior of San Ignacio, and later visitator of the whole mission. "It is hardly possible", writes Clavigero (op. cit. infra), "to tell that this zealous man accomplished notwithstanding his delicate health." In him the courage of the explorer and the learning of the cartographer were combined with the missionary's ardent zeal for souls, and his exploration of the maritine country as far as the Rio Colorado entities him to an important place in the history of the exploration of America.

Father Konsag's literary works include the following: (1) in manuscript: "Historia de las Misiones de la California", used by Venegas in his "Noticia de la California" (Madrid, 1757); "Carta del P.F.C. de la Comp. de Jesés, Visitador de la Mis. de Calif.", with forty-three pages of explanation (1 Oct., 1748); "Descripción compendiosa de lo descubierto de la Calif. por el P.F. Gonzago de la Comp de Jesús, 1746", the British Museum; various documents in Simancas, Spain, Est. leg, 5040, 118; 5042, 19; (2) printed: a letter of date 1731 in the "N. Welt-Bott", no. 743; "Diario de California" (Paris, 1767); account of the exploration of the Rio Colorado in Burriel, "Noticias de la California", III (Madrid, 1757), 140; a map of California copied by J. Baegert in his "Nachrichten von Californien" (Mannheim, 1770). cf. also Murr, "Journal", XII, 234.

CLAVIGERO, Storia della California, II (Venice, 1787) 119 sqq., 132, and passim; ALEGRE, Historia de la comp. de J. en Nueva Espana, III (Mexico 1841-2), 286 sqq; ZEVALLOS, Carta sobre la Apostolica Vida y Virtudes del P. Ferd. Konsag, Insigne Misionero de la California (Mexico 1764); VILLA-SENOR, Teatro Americano, III, xxxix.

A. HUONDER