Friday, December 23, 2005

god is with those who help themselves

The conquest of Mexico occurred from 1519-22. Two lay Franciscans of Belgium accompanied Cortez in 1519. In 1524 twelve more Franciscans, arrived by the orders of the crown, lead by Martin de Valencia.[1] Cortez himself, specifically sent for Mendicants to spread the gospel to the new world. The Mendicants were conservative and pious Franciscans who had taken a strict vow of poverty, renounced proprietorship and were solely dependant on charity (in accordance with Franciscan Rule 1223). These Franciscans were of the province of Extremadura, where the Franciscans of this region had experienced extensive reform under Juan de Guadalupe. Directly influenced by this movement was Martin de Valencia, who was influenced by Fray Juan de Guadalupe, who was the chief reformer of the Franciscan houses in Extremadura. Additionally, the nation as well as the Franciscan order had been influenced by Joachimism mixed with a strong apocalyptic interpretation of their times.[2] Their Joachimism consisted of the belief that they were divinely elected by God to evangelize the world. These “twelve new apostles” to the new world embraced this call with apocalyptic zeal of mission in “the eleventh hour.” They along with Columbus and Cortez believed, the later having convinced the Spanish crown to act on its obligation to carry out this missionary work (in a marriage of the powers of church and state), with elevated urgency, preparing the way for Christ’s second coming.[3] This apocalyptic outlook of the times was folded into Spain’s understanding of its own victories against the Moors, its expulsion of the Jews, and its establishment of the Inquisition.[4] Their success was undeniable proof that God’s favor was upon them for the evangelization of the world. The Franciscans in the new world proclaimed this conquestial evangelical message boldly as evident in the pageant they directed for missional purposes in 1539 at Tlaxcala, New Spain.[5] It was entitled “The Conquest of Jerusalem.”[6] And for all practical purposes, the Amerindians believed and were converted for they too understood from their own native religion, God is with the most powerful.

[1] Catholic Encyclopedia, online edition, 2003 “Martin de Valecia.”
[2] Delno C. West "Medieval Ideas of Apocalyptic Mission and the Early Franciscans in Mexico." The Americas (Vol. XLV, January 1989, No. 3, pp. 293-313)
[3] Ibid, 297.
[4] Ibid, 300.
[5] Ibid, 293.
[6] Ibid.

2 comments:

Peter. said...

Too bad you don't speak Dutch; there was a television series on air a few months ago 'God bestaat niet' (god doesn't exist).

It can be viewed here:

http://www.rvu.nl/rvu.php?i=1&l=0&n=811

Just had another look at one of them, nr. 5, by theoretical astrophysicist Vincent Icke.

Very sensible discussions, reasonable too.

Really a pity it's in Dutch, not English.

This one is mostly in English. Not as good though:

http://portal.omroep.nl/mplayer?nav=khgpyCsHEzFaZtHjIwpbB

Just to give you an overview of what's on telly in NL on the issue.

Peter. said...

Two short remarks.

After reading some of my comments, I feel they're quite 'bold' or direct, esp. since we not know eachoterh. Please understand I mean no harm or insult anyone.

2ndly, there have been so many posts by me it may look like I want to takeover the blog. Will try to stay more on the background.