Calderon de La Barca, Pedro

[Pedro Calderon de La Barca] (1600-1681) Dramatist, born Madrid; died there. He attended the University of Salamanca, and after participating in the Spanish campaigns in Italy and the Netherlands, was given charge of the Buen Retiro theater in Madrid. In 1651 he was ordained priest, and became superior of the Congregation of Saint Peter, 1666. His dramatic labors mark the second half of the golden age of Spanish literature and are typical of the sentiments and ideas of 17th-century Spain. His autos sacrament ales (sacred allegorical dramas on the Eucharist) are unsurpassed, and his religious fervor is exemplified in his comedias devotas (sacred non-allegorical dramas) of which the most noteworthy is "The Purgatory of Saint Patrick." His secular works are notable only by virtue of his lyricism; his extant publications embrace about 120 dramas and 70-80 autos.

New Catholic Dictionary

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