1895  — 1945

Francisco Javier Montalban

Jesuit seminary professor in Shanghai and mission historian.

Born Gordejuela, Vizcaya, Spain, Montalban entered the Society of Jesus in 1912 and was ordained in 1926. In 1930 he earned his doctorate in Munich with the dissertation Das spanische Patronat und die Eroberung der Philippinen. In China from 1930 to 1936, he taught church history in the Jesuit seminary in Zikawei, near Shanghai. There he published his Manuale Historiae Missionum (1935), although it was incomplete because European sources were not available to him. Nevertheless it was a useful handbook because it was based on Joseph Schmidlin’s Catholic Mission History and Descamps’s compendium Histoire generale compare des missions as well as Revue d’histoire des missions and Zeitschrift furMissionswissenschaft. In 1938 a Spanish translation was published. In 1936 Montalban returned to Spain, where he lectured at the theological faculty at Marneffe-Ona and worked at the Secretariado de Missions in Pamplona. He died in Ona, Spain.


This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright (c) 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of The Gale Group; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Montalban published chiefly in the journal El Siglo de las Misiones. See especially his articles “Maria en la teologia de las misiones,” 25 (1938): 193-198, “El P. Ledochowski y las misiones,” 30 (1943): 42-45, and his book La compania de Jesus Misionera 1540-1940 (1941). For biographical information see El siglo de las misiones 33 (1946): 68-69, and NZM 2 (1946): 132.

About the Author

Karl Muller

Formerly Director, Society of the Divine Word Missiological Institute, Sankt Augustine, Germany