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The Indian advocate. ([Sacred Heart, Okla.]) 1???-1910, October 01, 1903, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/45043535/1903-10-01/ed-1/seq-3/

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THE INDIAN ADVOCATE. 292
of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and New Mexico.
Later on also Arizona and California saw the Spanish mis
sionary treading his way to the settlements of the aborigines.
The French missionaries were mostly Jesuits, whereas the
Spaniards were Franciscans. (We do not mention in these
notes the work of missionaries in West Indies, Mexico and
South America.)
In the first attemprs of christianization, many lives were
lost. Many mission-fathers perished in the country now
constituting the South of the United States, and especially
New Mexico and Canada have drunk the blood of martyrs.
However their labor was not in vain. Long before the "Pil
grim fathers" landed at Plymouth Rock (1620) churches and
missions under the pastorate of the Spanish Franciscans
flourished, and historians mention in the beginning of the
seventeenth century twenty two missions with over ten thou
sand Christian Indians in New Mexico alone.
The manner of christianizing the aborigines, however, was
different. The French Jesuit Fathers went boldly into the
villages of the Indians. They lived with them, ate with them,
drank with them and became, as our Divine Master, equal to
them, sin excepted. The resultwas the successful christianiza
tion of whole tribes. God's Kingdom was established. But,
alas, the social conditions of the Indians being bad and get
ting worse, pastors and flock perished in various places, being
persecuted for Christ's sake bv hostile pagan tribes. There
are many martyrs whose names are not remembered in history.
It is a sad historical fact that Catholic missions were destroyed
and the faithful pastors put to death also by Protestant (Eng
lish) fanatics who had taken possession of some territory in
the New World.
the Spaniards in attempting to christianize, combined
colonization of some territory with the work of preaching the
gospel. After the loss of numerous missionaries, the soldier
would accompany the padre. Spanish families would be invited

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