(b Lille, 1533; d Leuven, Sept 18, 1585).
South Netherlandish theologian and writer. He became professor of theology and rector of the university at Leuven in 1578 and, one year later, first president of the royal college. In 1573, as dean of the faculty of theology, he was the inspiration and first signatory of the letter from this faculty to Philip II of Spain, which sought to have the Duque de Alba recalled from the Netherlands. Molanus was also dean in 1576 when the faculty concluded that the Pacification of Ghent, which united all the provinces of the northern and southern Netherlands against the Spanish, was not inconsistent with the Catholic religion.
Molanus achieved fame chiefly through his publications, which included a number of hagiographic works and religious histories. In his De picturis et imaginibus sacris liber unus (1570) he was the first writer to dwell on the implications of the Council of Trent (1545–63...