« AnteriorContinuar »
of Guatemala as vicar-provincial. Thereupon Fray Juan Guerrero presented a memorial to the viceroy setting forth that he was in possession of letters credential from the general of the order appointing him successor in case of the death of the provincial; that he had hitherto withheld them, as there had been no necessity to produce them, but that Oñate being blind and incapacitated for service, he now claimed his right to the office. This memorial was sent by the viceroy to the definitorio, and caused Padre Rios and three definidores to recognize Guerrero as provincial and formally declare him as such. This gave offence to Padre Mendoza, who hastened to attach to his party the archbishop, inquisitors, and nobility. He moreover immediately communicated with Oñate tendering his obedience to him as provincial. Oñate at once proceeded to Mexico, performing various duties pertaining to his office during his journey. On his arrival, however, the letters of the Augustinian general which had been in the keeping of Rios were produced, and Guerrero's party refused to recognize Oñate. Mendoza now represented to the viceroy the true state of the case, maintaining that Guerrero ought to have produced his credentials earlier, and thus have avoided all cause for dissension. This view was adopted by the viceroy, who despatched an order by the officers of the criminal court, supported by the palace guard, commanding the recognition of Oñate. A great commotion ensued. Rios and the three definidores refused to obey the order or open the doors of the convent. At nine o'clock at night the alcaldes and guard again brought the commands of the viceroy to the refractory friars, but without any better result;50 nor did they yield until a notification of banishment to the port of Acapulco was served upon them. Oñate was then instated in his office, and meeting with further opposition he banished the contentious members
59 Con que se fueron los alcaldes y guardia, y quedó el convento en un infierno de disturbios.' Guijo, Diario, 143.
to the pueblo of Oquituco, within a week of his installation. Some degree of peace was thus restored in the convent.60
In 1606 the order of barefooted Augustinians was first represented in New Spain by the arrival of twelve members of that society with Padre Juan de San Gerónimo at their head. They first established their hospital at Tlatilulco and afterwards removed to the capital, occupying a house which had been left to them by the presbyter Bartolomé Lopez.
The Dominican friars, as the reader is aware, obtained almost undisputed possession of Oajaca, their establishment in that region having been formed into a separate province under the name of San Hipólito. They were now bent on extending their influence in a northerly direction from the capital, and with such a view established as early as 1604 a convent at Zacatecas, and another in 1610 at Guadalajara. Subsequently they began to work as missionaries in the region of Sierra Gorda, the present Querétaro, where the Franciscans had so far been unable to establish themselves to any extent. The Dominicans commenced the conversion of the Chichimecs blancos in 1686, and about fifteen years later they had at least so far succeeded as to found six missions to which was gathered the greater part of the population. Unfortunately a revolt of the Indians at the beginning of
60'Quedó el convento algo sosegado y sus parciales con algunos temores.' Id., 145. During the years 1652 to 1654 the Augustinians were engaged in disputes with the bishops owing to their removal from doctrinas. Royal interference was necessary and commands on the matter were issued. Frailes Doctrin., in Disturbios de Frailes, MS., ii. no. ii. 129-88. In 1676 the Augustinian church in the capital was burnt down. Much popular superstition prevailed relative to this disaster and its significance. Siguenza y Góngora, Carta al Almirante, MS., 15. A royal cédula was issued in 1741 ordering the provincial definitorio to be held every two years. No appeal from this decree would be admitted. Reales, Cédulas, MS., 130-2.
61 Nine of these friars were ordained priests, the remaining three being lay brothers. Vetancvrt, Trat. de Mex., 38-9; Medina, Chron. de S. Diego, 11.
62 The pope granted extensive privileges to this order in 1704: Ut Rectores Provinciales Discalceatorum Ordinis S. Augustini Congregationis... gaudeant eisdem privilegiis quibus Provinciales absoluti.' Morelli, Fast. Nov. Orb., 511. In 1744 the mission of Pacula was transferred from the Augustinians to the barefooted order. Soriano, Prólogo, 3.
the eighteenth century drove them back from the district which they had gained with so much labor, but in 1740 fresh efforts were made in unison with other orders, to reestablish the missions. The attempt was so successful, that in 1756 the mission of Pugniguia was in a condition to be delivered to the secular clergy, a change apparently injurious to the settlement, which decreased in number of inhabitants considerably during the following years. This course was nevertheless persisted in, and, in 1787, of all the Dominican missions in the Sierra Gorda district, only that of San Miguel de las Palmas remained under the control of the order.65 Strange as it may appear, this transfer of jurisdiction seems not to have encountered opposition on the part of the friars, though as a rule the regulars were loath to release their hold when once they had acquired control in a new region.
Of the minor orders, such as the Carmelites and friars of Our Lady of Mercy, there is little to be said. After founding their convents in the capital, they spread over portions of the country, but in no special direction nor to any considerable extent. They possessed establishments in the larger towns, as Puebla, Vera Cruz, Valladolid, Colima, Oajaca, Guadalajara, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, and other places, but their importance and influence always remained inferior to those of the Franciscans or Jesuits." 67
3 Friars of San Fernando from Mexico and others from Pachuca. Orozco y Berra, Carta Etnog., 260.
6Of 200 families which composed the settlement in 1756 only four remained in 1767.
The incorporation of a mission into the jurisdiction of the secular clergy was generally effected when a certain degree of political and religious inteliigence had been acquired by the Indians; but on account of its isolated situation or for some other reason-perhaps the insignificant perquisites to be obtained-San Miguel was not claimed by the bishop. Pinart, Col. Doc. Mex., MS., 271-3, 457-60.
66 The Mercenarios founded in 1628 or 1629 a convent at Guadalajara, and in the first years of the eighteenth century another at Zacatecas. In 1617 they formed the provincia de la Visitacion de la Nueva España.
67 Nevertheless the Mercenarios were able to pay in 1785 $100,000 into the royal treasury to be used by the government in Spain for ransoming_captive christians. To obtain alıns for that purpose was an object of their order.
HIST. MEX., VOL. III. 46
The charitable order of San Juan de Dios was established in Mexico in 1604 by Cristóbal Muñoz, who together with four other friars had been sent from Spain for that purpose. The building originally intended for them having been given to the Hipólitos, after some negotiations they obtained the foundlinghospital of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados, and there they established their hospital on the 25th of February. The laudable object of the order-the assistance and care of the sick-and the zeal displayed by the members in the discharge of their duties, soon gained the sympathy of the population, and in 1606 one of the brothers was sent back to Spain to obtain from the king licenses to found new establishments. Almost simultaneously requests for more friars were made and acceded to by the prior. Henceforth the number of hospitals increased rapidly, especially toward the north, and before many years had elapsed the society possessed houses in most of the principal towns. All the different hospitals were united as the provincia del Espíritu Santo, under the jurisdiction of a commissary-general, appointed in Spain. In 1636 an attempt was made to establish a government independent of the order in the mother country, but the effort failed, and ever afterward the society in New Spain remained subject to its control.
68 Medina, Chrón. S. Diego, 11, followed by Vetancurt, Trat. Mex., 37, gives Gerónimo de Seguera as the founder, and says that the original number was 16, but that only four arrived in Mexico.
69 In 1605 they entered Colima, where the hospital de la Concepcion was given them; three years later they gained a firm footing in Zacatecas and Durango. During the years from 1611 to 1623 they founded establishments at San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Leon, Guadalajara, and Celaya, while their introduction into Puebla and Yucatan was delayed till about 1630, and into Oajaca till 1702. Santos, Chronologia, ii. 446-91. On the same and following pages are also some details about the establishment of hospitals in other places.
Among the special monk-chronicles of the sixteenth century a prominent place must be given to that of the Franciscan province of San Diego de Mexico. Chronica de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de Mexico de Religiosos Des calzos de N. S. P. S. Franciscan, Fray Balthassar de Medina. Mexico, 1682, folio. In common with writings of this class it is mainly devoted to recording
MEDINA AND PADILLA.
the saintly lives and virtues of prominent friars, but in connection therewith, and in separate chapters, a vast amount of political and church history is given; in part compiled from existing authorities, and in part from original documents. Compared with most of the religious chronicles, however, it is superior in style and treatment, being more concise, and giving dates for nearly all events mentioned. On page 230 is found a curious map representing a topographical view of New Spain, with the various Franciscan convents. Some space is devoted to a general description of the cities and towns wherein were situated convents of the order. A list of works used by the author is given, and also a list of writers of the province who had flourished during the preceding century. Medina, who was a native of Mexico, occupied a prominent position in the Franciscan order. He was lecturer on theology and philosophy for fifteen years, successively held the offices of definidor and guardian of various convents, and in 1670 was appointed visitador of his order in the Philippine Islands. Returning to Mexico, he devoted the remainder of his life to literary pursuits and died in 1697. Besides the work already cited, which was the most important, he wrote several others, all of a religious character, the most complete list of them being given by Beristain.
As early as 1550 the history of the Dominican province of Mexico was begun, and continued by successive writers, being first written in Spanish, and subsequently translated into Latin, but it was not until forty years later that it assumed its present form and was published under the title of Historia de la Fundacion y Discurso de la Provincia, de Santiago de Mexico, de la Orden de Predicadores Por las vidas de sus varones insignes y casos Notables de Nueua España, por el Maestro Fray Avgvstin Davilla Padilla. Madrid, 1596, folio. This author, born in Mexico City in 1562, his parents, Pedro Davila and Isabel de Padilla, being among the first families of conquistadores, was, as a child, remarkable for his precocity. At four years of age he astonished all by his intelligence; at twelve he had not only studied grammar but rhetoric; at thirteen he was a philosopher; and at sixteen had taken his degrees as doctor in the university of Mexico. The walls of his apartment falling in on one occasion, he was saved from being crushed to death by taking refuge in a window; and attributing this miraculous escape to Our Lady of the Rosary, who was the object of his special devotion, he resolved to devote his life to the service of God. Entering the Dominican order in 1569, he was appointed professor of philosophy, and distinguished himself in the pulpit. Subsequently he held the office of Qualifier of the Inquisition. Alcedo, Bib. Am., MS., i. 321. In 1589, by order of the Dominican chapter-general of Mexico, he began the Historia de la Fundacion. The history thus far written was in Latin. After its translation into Spanish it was found so incomplete as to require much research. According to Brasseur de Bourbourg, Bib. Mex. Guat., 53, Davila-Padilla is said to have drawn some of his material from the then manuscript work of Duran, published in 1867 by Ramirez. The work was finished in 1592. The lack of paper, however, prevented its publication in Mexico, and it was taken to Spain in 1595, whence Davila-Padilla proceeded as procurator-general, and published the following year. A second edition with the same title was issued at Brussels in 1625, both of which have become exceedingly rare, and still a third edition, in 1634, at Valladolid, with the