Salvatierra, Juan MarÃa de (1648-1717) to Antonio Abarea [in Spanish]
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06292 Author/Creator: Salvatierra, Juan MarÃa de (1648-1717) Place Written: Tepoztlan, Mexico Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1698 Pagination: 7 p. ; 30.5 x 21.4 cm.
Addresses the audience of Guadalajara on the day of the birth of Our Lady of [Loreto]. Discusses the English threat, the weakness of the Spanish crown, and the general situation of the Catholic religion in Mexico.
Salvatierra was an Italian born Jesuit priest who emigrated to Mexico in 1675. He worked as a missionary to convert the Indian tribes in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the tribes in lower California.
I can't, in short of not coming this time, wish you happy Greetings, in the nativity feast of our lady. [text loss] Reciprocate congratulatory letters of the birth of Almighty Jesus. The son rejoices when written felicitations are exchanged on the mother's nativity. This I have written to the Lords of the Royal Audience of Guadalajara. So in unity they can celebrate with devotion at the cradle of our lady and the holy house of Loreto, like a precious pearl is born from a shell. On this occasion I wish to meet and familiarize with the Lords and Royal Ministers of Mexico, especially his Excellency the Viceroy, so I can present in this occasion, Sagristan Viejo and Negro Viejo of the holy house where our lady was born. In the present dangers of the enemies at view, this house shall be our bulwark and fortress, and with the influences of the one born from the heavens of this house, beautiful like the moon, we will hold subject the French heraldry and they will not disturb the peace of this, our heaven. The dangers that we have today are not few and if the uproars and plots proceed from the Allied England, the Naval Fleet with which they aided us, will be a force that is completely diverted. There is a possibility that in aiding themselves, some may join the French Squadron, all of which would be of great bias in those seas of America. Long live Mary, long live the Princess. If from her cradle she has us under her protection, the heraldry would not enchant us, and lions would not frighten us. Now, 12 years under the protection of the Princess born from the heavens, the siege of Viena was lifted and the house of Austria was left triumphant and victorious from an army attack of five thousand Turkish soldiers.
In the times of Philip II, year 1566, the Army of the Great Soliman was defeated by our Naval fleet on the island of Malta, and on the day of the Nativity of the Virgin, the Empire of Soliman the Great was forced to give up siege.
On this day the Catholic King Fernando of Castilla and Aragon bestowed glorious victory from the moors. At last in this celebration of victories, celebration of Peace, the church was established in octave. This is because in the election of Innocencio IV, Supreme Pontiff, through the nativity of Mary, Universal Peace was received through out the entire church and Christian Princes of that time, divided in many ranks. Just as the hands of Mary are Royal and not small, her deeds are not small when it comes to favoring us in her nativity. Non est Abreviata manus(the hand is not shortened).
My Eminent Lords, encourage yourselves in courting the Lady Queen on the day of her nativity and her entrance to the world. In her octave, recourse to her morning and evening. In the mornings at the Cathedral, the Remedy of Remedies is in the dome of Mexico(that is how the Cathedral is called in my land) and in the evenings, where litany songs are sung in archsolemn, attend to your cells and house of Loreto in Saint Aveporio, we would be taught by our lady, she is the real teacher of Government, political, as well as military and she will not forsake us, that is what God says: Nec Dimittan, dones introducam illum in Domun Matris meae, et in Cubiculum Centricis meae. He will not let us enter the Dome of his mother, her lodge and [sanctuary], and not in vain he writes the two words Domun and Cubiculum. So domun is the dome or Cathedral and Cubiculum is the [sanctuary], or the holy house of Loreto. In this way, he will teach us a way to defeat the enemy and everything that is not right, and again in chapter 8 of Canticles it continues as follows: Adprehendam te, et ducam in domum matris meae, et in cubiculum penitricis meae: ibi me docebis. I would hold you by your hand, and will take you to the house, palace, or dome of my mother, and her sanctuary, and I shall teach you.
All the Cardinals of the church, in the election of Innocencio IV made vows to celebrate in octave the Nativity of Mary, if with her protection she granted us peace. To God this vow was pleasing, but more pleasing will be if we pray to Mary for our defense. With Mary under her Nativity, apart from granting our requests, we offer our propositions or vows on behalf of our king Charles II may God protect.
The purpose [then] or Vow more accepted by Mary, that our king could do today and in the octave of her nativity by means of his Excellency, the Viceroy and his Royal Ministers outside from expanding the glories of the Nativity, and new births of Faith in a part of California, and all under the glories of Mary's Nativity, with the purpose of establishing in those Gentiles a model, with rigorous measures of the holy house of Loreto. The house in which Mary was born, where grave dangers are present, our king shows a filial love with Mary and generous spirits to give new births of faith of her son God. Under the protection of her Natalician house in California and borders of the southern sea by means of her royal ministers, she that holds the powerful arm of God will protect us from the dangers of the coast and the northern seas. Even if there were dangers and some lost, the outcome would be good. Amidst some challenges great progress will achieve. Congratulations to the crown, and at the cradle of the princess the Banners and flags of our enemies can be hung. Just as the banners and flags of all enemies has remained hanging for 12 years. The entire house of Loreto in Vienna and the original house of Loreto attributes the house of Austria for the Imperial banner of Maoma, taking out of the way the squadrons of the Great Vizier. Today it is seen of all pilgrims as trophies in the holy house of Loreto and Nazareth in "La Marca:"
The intention of our king, by means of his Excellency the Viceroy and his ministries, voted for secrecy, if it is deemed more advisable. That way the greed of some will not take wings; In order for his majesty to establish the faith in that Gentile land. With major expenses of which is necessary, no more than thirty soldiers are needed, all poor, and exerting in arms against the Indians. The captain poor, just the same, but exerted just the same against Indians; determined not to win, but to set faith and foot on that land without ever taking it out. We will not be short of such Spaniards and there are very good ones. So if our Majesty determines this, I deem secrecy necessary; in the mean time, the Provincial Father comes, which should not take long. Like Mary of Loreto gave life for a few months on this [hill] in honor of the cradle and the Natalician holy house of Mary, she will cheer by helping for this deed, so as to the service of God. Glory to the birth and expansion of our king's kingdoms and Company, which won't be short of merciful vassals, and in honor of Mary and her cradle, the steps that our king strongly makes will be relieved. Well, I repeat again that secrecy is much needed.
I now forward this letter or copy that the Fiscal of Guadalajara wrote to me, in it you will understand better of what he said.
Eminent Lord Antonio, long live Mary and do not be ashamed to put forth all of your diligence and this in honor of Mary. That in your honor those lords and his Excellency the Viceroy, proposals are heard of a Black Rosebush Sacristy of Mary. If in Mary's honor this takes motion, like a force that moves and it makes a request for refuge in this necessity, I end with a plead for secrecy, secrecy, secrecy, so that I only know what occurs, to arrange the rest with the Provincial Father and some devoted friends. I finish by wishing you all the happiness. Tepozotlan and September on the eve of Mary's Nativity, of the year 1698.
Kiss the hand
Your most humble Chaplain & Servant
and Sagristan Viejo of the
Future holy house of
Fiscal Lord Antonio
Vidal de Abarca
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