Molloy (O’MOLLOY), FRANCIS, theologian, grammarian, b. in King’s County, Ireland, at the beginning of the seventeenth century; d. at St. Isidore’s, Rome, about 1684. At an early age he entered the Franciscan Order, and in the year 1642 he was appointed lecturer in philosophy at the college of Klosterneuberg, near Vienna, and in 1645 passed to the chair of theology at Gratz. Here he published a Scotist work on the Incarnation.
About 1650 he was called to Rome and appointed primary professor of theology in the College of St. Isidore. During his residence in Rome he wrote several works on theological subjects and a long Latin poem on Prince Prosper Philip of Spain. In 1676 he published an Irish catechism under the title of “Lucerna Fidelium seu Fasciculus decerptus de Doctrina Christiana”. This work, in the Irish language and characters, was printed at the office of the Congregation of the Propaganda, and was dedicated to Cardinal Altieri, Protector of Ireland. Father Molloy is best known as the author of the first Latin-Irish printed grammar (Grammatica Latino-Hibernica). This book also came from the press of the Propaganda (1677), and is dedicated to Cardinal Massimi, a great friend of the Irish. It is highly esteemed by writers on the Celtic languages, and is largely drawn upon by modern writers on Irish grammar.