Fray Tomás de Berlanga

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Most Reverend

Tomás de Berlanga
Bishop of Panama
Fray Tomas de Belanga.jpg
Statue of Fray Tomás in Berlanga de Duero
ChurchCatholic Church
DioceseDiocese of Panama.
PredecessorVicente de Valverde
SuccessorPablo de Torres
by Francisco Mendoza de Bobadilla
Personal details
Berlanga de Duero, Spain
Died8 August 1551 (age 64)

Fray Tomás de Berlanga (1487 – 8 August 1551) was the fourth Bishop of Panamá.[1][2]


Tomás de Berlanga was born in Berlanga de Duero in Soria, Spain.[3] On February 11, 1534, Pope Clement VII appointed him Bishop of Panama. On May 17, 1534, he was consecrated bishop by Francisco Mendoza de Bobadilla, Bishop of Coria.[3] Francisco Mendoza, Bishop of Palencia and Father Francisco de Navarra y Hualde served as Co-Consecrators.[3]

In 1535, he sailed to Peru to settle a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro over division of territory after the conquest of the Inca Empire.[4]:388 His ship stalled when the winds died and strong currents carried him out to the Galápagos Islands which he thus discovered on March 10, 1535. He sent an account of the adventure and discovery to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Berlanga resigned his seat in 1537.[3]

When Tomás de Berlanga returned to the Berlanga de Duero from America, he brought with him a cayman from the Chagres River in Panama. This cayman measured 3 meters. It is currently on display in the Colegiata de Nuestra Señora del Mercado in Berlanga de Duero.[5]


  1. ^ Fray Tomas de Berlanga - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  2. ^ Eubel, Konrad (1923). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentioris aevi. Vol. III (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. p. 268. (in Latin)
  3. ^ a b c d Cheney, David M. "Bishop Tomás de Berlanga, O.P." Retrieved June 16, 2018. [self-published]
  4. ^ Leon, P., 1998, The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, Chronicles of the New World Encounter, edited and translated by Cook and Cook, Durham: Duke University Press, ISBN 9780822321460
  5. ^

External links and additional sources[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Vicente de Valverde
Bishop of Panamá
Succeeded by
Pablo de Torres