Medieval Ideas of Apocalyptic Mission and the Early Franciscans in Mexico Author(s): Delno C.

West Source: The Americas, Vol. 45, No. 3 (Jan., 1989), pp. 293-313 Published by: Academy of American Franciscan History Stable URL: Accessed: 22/07/2010 22:16
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n June 18, 1539, at Tlaxcala, New Spain, Indians recently conperformeda pageantwrittenand directedby verted to Christianity the Franciscan missionaries. The play titled "The Conquest of Jerusalem" featured the final siege of the Holy City led by combined armies from Spain and New Spain aided by forces from France and Hungary. The drama unfolds with the army from New Spain, protected by angels and St. Hippolytus, showing the most valor. Huddledto one side of the battlefield are the Pope and his court offering prayers for a Christian victory. After several attacks, each of which ends in a miracle saving the Christianarmies, the Moslems capitulateand convert to the true faith. In the final scene, the Pope causes all the new converts to be baptized after which the Sultanand his soldiersbow before CharlesV andproclaimhim to be "God's Captain" for all the earth. The pageant commemorated the Truce of Nice concludedon June 17, 1538, between CharlesV and Francis I at the urging and coordinationof Pope Paul III who wantedto free Charles V to attackthe Turksand captureJerusalem.Celebratingthe Truce of Nice was a naturalchoice for the friarsbecause it reflectedcommonly held theories of apocalypticism.The pageantexhibited salient themes of the apocalyptic conversion of non-believersand infidels, the recaptureof Jerusalem, and the recognition of a "last world ruler." Toribio de Benavente (Motolinfa), who recordedthe pageant, prefaced the dramaby praying that this prophesied victory would soon happen and he assigned an unprecedented role to the peoples of the New World in the victory. The first Franciscanmissionaries to Mexico inheriteda rich eschatological traditionexpressed in a spiritof apocalypticconversion.2St. Francis,
* I would like to express my appreciationto Dr. Susan Deeds and Dr. E. RandolphDaniel who read this essay in an early draft. I am grateful for their comments and suggestions. 1Toribio de Benavente (Motolinfa), Historia de los indios de Nueva Esparia (Colecci6n de Documentos para la Historiade Mexico, Mexico City, 1858), pp. 87-95. 2 Thirteenth and fourteenth-century Franciscanideas of apocalypticconversionhave been studied by E. RandolphDaniel, The Franciscan Concept of Mission in the High MiddleAges (Lexington, 1975), pp. 26-36.


"Las esperanzas milenaristasde los franciscanosde la Nueva Espafia. Ricard. 1970) and G.La "conquite spiritual" du Mexico (Paris.Spain. The Influenceof Prophecy in the Later MiddleAges: A Study in Joachimism (Oxford. The missionaryzeal of the Seraphic Saint's followers set the Orderapartas they spearheaded missionaryactivity into eastern Europe. Utopia e historia en M~xico (Toulouse. 1983). 1933). 89-105 and A. His extensive writingsinspireda wide corpus of pseudo literatureby generationsof Joachites after his death.certainFranciscansbelieved themselves a divinely inspiredelect whose role was the renovatioof the evangelical life in the last age of the world. M."EstudiosAmericanos(Madrid. Maravall. was so sure of the evangelical role for his orderthat he devoted Chapter12 in his Rule of 1223 to regulatingand promotingmissionaryactivity. Calabrianabbot was the most importantapocalypticwriterand exegete of prophecyin the Middle Ages. 4 The standardstudy is M. An assumptionof the abbot's influence has seduced twenof tieth centuryscholars due to the lingering undercurrent Joachim's dynamism of sacredhistorypresentin fifteenthand sixteenthcenturyFranciscan attitudesabout themselves and their mission to the New World.3But one can scarcely distinguish such an eschatology from other. India. Baudot. pp. see L.4 Several central themes evolved from the abbot's mind. Milhou. apocalypticexpectationsin this period. Weckmann. and a vast modern secondary literatureof diverse opinion. Africa and the immediate Atlantic islands. pp. When his followers coupled this vocation with Joachimism. 1949) 2. Coldn y su mentalidad mesidnica en el ambientefranciscanista espafiol (Valladolid. J."La Utopia politico-religiosade los franciscanosen Nueva Espafia. pp. 1977). more general.yet. A more explorativeJoachite influence is demonstrated J. China. 1957). Our Lady of La R~ibida." Courantsreligieux et humanismea la fin du xve et au ddbutde xvie sidcle in Colloque de Strasbourg(Paris. "Evag6lisme et millnarisme au Nouveau Monde. Fifteenth-centurymissionary activity to newly discovered lands in Africa and the Atlantic islands centered at the great convent. Bataillon. Reeves focuses on two primarythemes: the separationof genuine from . but none so compelling to futureauthorsas 3A sample of modern scholarshipwould include cautiousstatementsabouta Joachiteinfluenceby R. keen to declarethe expositive influMany scholarshave been particularly famous CalabrianAbbot Joachim of Fiore upon fifteen and ence of the sixteenth century Spanish Franciscans. Recent studies have advocateda major influence by the Calabrianabbot. 199-277. Phelan. Reeves. one can scarcely find a direct quotationfrom Joachimof Fiore's writings in the literaryworks associated with the Order. 1969).Historia Mexicana (1982) 32. 25-36. The Millennial Kingdomof the Franciscans in the New World by (Berkeley & Los Angeles. Joachimof Fiore's importantcontributionto the western intellectualtradition was to develop a persuasive outline of how the history of mankind would evolve throughthree successive stages culminatingin an age of the The famous twelfth century Holy Spiritfilled with bliss and understanding.294 ANDFRANCISCANS APOCALYPTIC MISSION who set out to convertthe Moslems in the thirteenth century.

Aspectos del vivir hispdnico: espiritualismo. Extending from this system of a dual procession. Biography and Influence. pp. See also M. B. believed themselves to be that evangelical order of the ThirdAge. "Recent Scholarshipon Joachim of Fiore and His Influence. 191ff. Very early in their history. his apocalyptic theology of history. pp. he perceived a threestatus dynamic and organizationof history in which the salvationof the world progressedfrom creationto an expected age of grace in the future before the final Judgement.The one trulyJoachimistelement to be found is the concept of the "New SpritualMen" who would convert the world. respectively.Interestin the Calabrian abbot was widespreadby the early sixteenth century as illustratedby the appearanceof Joachim's majorworks and several spuriouswritingsin print for the first time between 1516 and 1577. creating a medley of apocalyptic lore from which emerged a general feeling of anticipationthat importanteschatological events were about to occur. and the detection and penetrationof the finer nuances of Joachimand pseudo-Joachimthoughtand its influence throughthe sixteenthcentury. There is little evidence that Joachim's broad scheme of three ages had any influence upon fifteenth and sixteenthcenturyFranciscans. This aspect of the Calabrianabbot's programhas its roots deep in Franciscan history. and his updatedbibliographicessay. The influence of his followers is more apparent. when other strains of apocalyptic thought were added.mesianismoy actitudpersonal en los siglos xv al xvi (Santiago. "Spiritualityand Poverty:Angelo da Clarenoand Urbantinoda Casale. 96. 5 Reeves. The ThirdAge of history. 1985).DELNO WEST 295 the meaning of history. and E. however.6 spurious writings and ideas of the abbot's. 249-311. one evangelical and one contemplative. each of which he divided into seven parallel patterns. The CalabrianAbbot:Joachim of Fiore in the History of WesternThought(New York. 1980). thoroughlyexamining his major themes. The transition from the second to the thirdage would be led by two new monastic orders. Castro." Traditio(1957) 13. "Joachimof Flora:A CriticalSurveyof his Canon. Joachim's own ideas became altered and debased. pp.The three ages were interrelated each new age received its germinationfrom the fructification as of the last.R." in Prophecy and Millenarianism:Essays in Honour of Marjorie Reeves (London. More recently. Chile. Sources. some Franciscans.especially the SpiritualFranciscans. and his theories of biblical symbolism and exegesis. 1949). he foresaw as a period of peace and harmony in which a renewed church would encompass a reformedpeople devoted to the contemplativelife. where he quotes several fifteenth-century Castilian . McGinn. p." Mediaevalia et Humanistica(1973) 4. Prophecy. 22-26. 21-52. The first two ages were guided by the Father and the Son. Teachings. Bloomfield. Joachim's vision of history was developed from patternsand symbols based on the two Testaments. pp. that of the Holy Spirit. Daniel. 6 See A. has produceda signal work by taking a fresh look at Joachim's ideas.5 Direct quotationsfrom Joachim of Fiore's genuine works are scarce in the writings of fifteenth and sixteenth century Spanish Franciscanauthors.

Prophecy. p. Francis as the model for the evangelical life outlined in the Gospels. Roma.Beginning with renewal within the Order itself. and by the middle of the fourteenth century. Ibid. humility and renunciation. Manselli. siglos xiii-xv. Rome. Studi Storici. focused upon his treatiseDe statibus ecclesiae secundumexpositionemApocalypsim.which the Inquisitors believed relied heavily upon Peter Olivi's Postilla. pp. J. it was the dreamof the Spiritualsto reformthe churchand the world. 1959. p." Archivo Ibero-Americano11-26 (1919-1926). Telesphonusof Cosenza.but the idea became widespreadand popularizedwith the productionof the to Liber de Fiore and the Liber de summisPontificibus. see R. see R. Franciscansin the 8 The idea of a powerful leaderoriginatedfrom Angelo Clareno'scircle of Spiritual thirteenthcentury. Furtherevidence from Inquisitionrecords suggest a flourishing and growing circle of men concernedwith eschatology from the fourteenthcenturywho made extensive use of the Joachite sources. the Rule of 1223 and Francis'Testamentas theirguides.for example. This new apocalypticismemphasizedevents near the end of time which included the salvationof all the world. Arnoldof Villanovaand Jeande Roquetailladewere centralto this developmentand they exercised extraordinary influence over Spanish Franciscansand Franciscanfringe orders in the fourteenthand fifteenth centuries. Fraticelli. and the rule by a leader who would combine the powers of both church and state to preparethe way for Christ's second coming. 1955). a mosaic of propheticsources had led the SpiritualFranciscansto a broaderapocalypticism. 25ff. Oliger. and Jean de Roquetaillade. Pou y Marti. the recapture of Jerusalem. the Spiritual partywished to reformthe vita apostolica to a strict adherenceto poverty. Perarnau. Beguinos y Fraticelos Catalanes. 121ff.. Arnoldof Villanova. The trial of one Fray BernardFuster of Majorcain 1321. La "Lectura super Apocalypsim" de Pietro di Giovanni Olivi: Ricerche sull'escatologismo medioevale (IstitutoStorico Italianoper il Medio Evo. Querimonias(1415) et UbertiniCasalensisquoddam 10 L.1o writings texts expressingsuch impulses includingG6mez Manrique. 191ff. 7 Reeves. 9 J. Brothersof Penitence. 18 (1922). .8 PassionateJoachitessuch as PeterOlivi. and many individualmembersof Tertiaries. "Visionarios. for example. pp. "Bibliografia teol6gica Catalana.It was formalizedlaterby PeterOlivi. 26. More specifically for this study. especially the Beguines." Analecta Sacra Terraconensia 45 (1972).9 Using St. 31-34).M. who calls upon PrinceAlfonso in 1468 to fulfill prophecy by conquering "the barbarousnations" in both Europe and elsewhere throughoutthe world. Joachimof Fiore's theorieslentjustificationand authorityto theirefforts by predictingthat the New Age would be led by new monastic communities. Manselli. reformare to be found in the The roots of the fifteenthcenturyObservantine of thirteenthand fourteenthcentury SpiritualFranciscans."ArchivumFranciscanumHistoricumIX (1916).296 APOCALYPTIC MISSION AND FRANCISCANS From the middle of the thirteenth century Abbot Joachim's thought and literature were linked with the Spiritual Franciscans.7 Leading Joachite Spritual Franciscans and their disciples reshaped Joachim's original teachings and combined them with other theories to addresscontemporary events during the later Middle Ages. For a background this developpseudo-Joachite ment. "De RelationeinterObservantium Scriptum. Spiritualie Beghini in Provenza (InstitutoStorico Italianoper il Medio Evo: Studi Storici.

"14 Joachim developed scriptural concordsfor the viri spirituales based on the twelve Patriarchsin the First Age paralleledby the twelve Apostles in the Second Age." Revue d'historire eccltsiestique XI (1910). 29ff. . 88'-89r. fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.2 Olivi's ideas also circulatedthroughthe writingsof his disciple Ubertinoda Casale's Arbor vitae crucifixaelesu.the evangelical orderwould bring salvation ". 70v. pt." 18 (1922). The two orders were symbolized by Moses and Elijah. with Moses' order being preachersand Elijah's contemplatives. Francis' statement on " D. Vidal. a commentaryon the FranciscanRule of 1223. and his Postilla super apocalypsimwere particularly respectedby the Observantineswho had the Expositio super regulam printed at Venice in 1513. 396. Peter Olivi's Expositio super regulam. III. TheNature and the Effect of the Heresy of the Fraticelli (Manchester.Throughits preaching. 1513). 100 and Peter Olivi. Each was admiredby later Observantine reformers. Thus the Third Age would produce a symbolic group of twelve religious designatedto lead history towardthe expected future. Abb6 Vidal has detailed the influence of Olivi upon the fourteenthcenturycircle of reformersled by Philip of Majorca. 175-176. Expositio in Apocalypsim(Venice. 14 Joachimof Fiore. the transitionfrom the second to the third age of history would include an intense missionaryeffort to convert all non-believers to the faith. and Pou y Martihas demonstrated the importanceof the treatiseDe statibus ecclesie secundumexpositionem apocalypsis. p. The agents who would lead in this task were two future religious orders (viri spirituales). ff. 's Liber de Concordia." Revue de questions historique88 (1910). 21'-21'. ff. "Visionarios. . ff. 175 and see Liber de ConcordiaNovi ac Veteris Testamenti(Venice.'5Peter Olivi in his Expositio super regulamincorporated Joachim'sscheme into Chapter12 of the Franciscan Rule of 1223 by expanding St.DELNO WEST 297 The primary theorists of the Spiritual Franciscans were Peter Olivi. . 1527) f. . Callacy lists survivingmanuscripts "Les iders mystico-politiques in d'un franciscianspirituel. and Expositio. 12 A. Ubertinoda Casale and Angelo Clareno.but none perhapsso much as Olivi whose ideas enjoyed wide circulation in the fourteenth. which included lengthy excerpts from Olivi's Postilla in the Catalanlanguage. Pou e Martf. p. Expositio super Regularamin Firmamentum triumordinumintitulatur(Venice. 84'-85r.universa multitudopopuli gentilis. pp. "Un ascete du sang royal: Philip de Morque. p. 1519). Numerouscopies of the Arbor vitae survive in Spain and it was translatedinto Castilianfor Queen Isabella.1932). ." That Peter Olivi's Joachimistideas circulatedin Spain in the fourteenth and fifteenth century can be documented by surviving references. 13 F. Douie.. 721-727.'13 In the Abbot Joachimof Fiore's scheme.

Summulaseu Breviloquiumsuper Concordianovi et veteri Testamenti(with text edited by H. "Arnaldo da Villenova. Manselli. 59. medico. 17 Pou y Marti.I wish to thankDr. A most useful account of the life and bibliographyof Francesc Examenis has been completed recently by J." HumanitasVIII (Brescia. p. teologo e riformatiorereligioso alle soglie del sec. 21 H. Lee & M. Webster. The third step in his eschatology envisioned the milto lenniumbeginningwith political power transferred Jerusalemfrom which the remnantsof a dissolving FranciscanOrder(the Elect) would carry the Gospel to the rest of the world. p. Peter of Arag6n (son of James II of Arag6n) and Fray FranciscExamenis. and as court physician at Arag6n. xiv. Reeves. ff. Peter entered the Franciscan Orderfollowing his wife's deathin 1358. 269. Expositio super Regularam.20 concludedthata world leaderwould rise up (in this case an angelic pope) and cause the immediateconversionof all Jews and infidels. OFM: su familia y su vida. 429-438. 19 R. he was particularly respected.Universityof TorontoPress). were condemned in 1316 by the Inquisitionat Tarragona. forthcoming.'" His apocalyptictreatisescontain a sense of imminenteschatologicalevents and a renewal of the Church by God's chosen elect. BignamiOdier. 155 in the typescript. 2o The most authoritative study of the life and thought of Jean de Roquetailladeis by J.298 ANDFRANCISCANS MISSION APOCALYPTIC missionaryactivities to include an expectationof the salvationof the world duringthe final days of the Second Age. Lee for permissionto use this materialon which I have relied heavily concerningFray Peter and Fray Francisc Examenis.17 He had become personally acquaintedwith Peter Olivi while both were teachers at Montpellierat the turnof the fourteenth century. Lee & G. FrayPeter's analysis of the last times not only relied on Jean de Roquetaillade." Bulletinodell'IstitutoStoricoItalianoper il Medio Evo 63 (1951).""' His treatises. p. "Nuevas aportaciones a los estudios ExaXXXIX (1979). minanos--Francisc Examenis." ArchivoIbero-Americano pp. diplomatic. A redefinedJoachimismwas most eloquentlypresentedin the fourteenth He centuryby Jeande Roquetaillade.but upon the thirteenth 16 Olivi.but his eschatological thought had already made its markupon Spanishthinkers. 1952). Manselli's articlecontains large excerpts from Villanova's texts. written in both Latin and Catalan. "Visionarios" 11 (1919). as well as the rule by "one pastor and one shepherd. The developing apocalypticthoughtrepresentedby Arnold of Villanova and Jean de Roquetailladegreatly influencedtwo important Spanishwriters of the fourteenthand early fifteenth centuries:the FranciscanPrince. 123'-124r. the Spiritual Franciscans. Manselli. 1953). . Etudes sur Jean de Roquetaillade(Johannesde Rupescissa) (Paris. 18 R. pp. "La religiosithdi Arnaldoda Villanova.16 Arnold of Villanova became the primaryconduitfor SpiritualFranciscan Joachimism in Spain. Silano.21 After a distinguishedcareer at the royal court. 168ff.

Super Hieremiam. Their persistence in following a rigorous observance of the Rule of 1223 eventually led to major reform by the late fifteenth century which had direct influence upon New World Franciscan missionaries. The Observantine movement began in Spain around 1390 as a protest against nonfeasance in the Order. The most austere way of life was followed and encouraged by such diverse characters as Cardinal 22 In 1377 he wrote Exposici6 de la visid damuntvita in which he copiously cites Jean de Roquetaillade and the pseudo-Joachim superHieremiam. at Venice in 1516. conquer many islands and subjugate many nations. 25 Pou y Marti.24 Franciscan fringe orders had existed in Spain from the earliest years. A fifteen year reign of peace and tranquility would follow at the close of which the final Antichrist would appear. pp. Francis as approved by Pope Honorius III in 1223. Franciscan houses in Spain underwent extensive reform which brought the Order there under the control of the Observantine party. This princeps mundi would conquer all Christendom and Jerusalem before revealing himself as the last vestige in a series of antichrists before the final Antichrist. its promoters wished to observe exactly the Rule of St. Its popularity was retained to the point that it was the first of the Joachimistliteraturepublished. Reeves. . p.22 He outlined an immediate future in which the king of Arag6n would conquer all of Spain and then attack the Moslems. even before Joachim's genuine works. Francis. Examenis' works were popular throughout the fifteenth century. Fray Francisc Examenis was a more classical Joachite who loosely followed Joachim's chronological patterns of three and seven. over whom he would be victorious and from whom he would recapture Jerusalem. individuals and groups within them who held apocalyptic beliefs were frequently labeled as "Joachite. Their inspiration was drawn from the Spiritual Franciscans whose links to the Joachite movement were well established. Just as the dissidents in fringe orders before them."25 Groups such as the Beguines and Fraticelli typified the desire of many to live the simple life which they believed to have been taught by St. "Visionarios" 18 (1922).The superHieremiamwas writtenin the early thirteenth century and became an instantsuccess due to its opposition to the EmperorFrederickII. During the latter part of the fifteenth century. 23 His majorworks were Apparatusde triplici statu mundi and Vida de Jesuchrist. 229-330. he anticipated a princeps mundi (appearing to be pious but in fact he would be evil) who would be mighty on the sea. being copied as late as 1477. and according to Inquisition records.23 In the sixth era of the second age.DELNO WEST 299 century pseudo-Joachim work. Prophecy. 25.

pp. 28 Besides Balaguer. most convents following a strict observance of the Rule of St.R. postils. florilegia and exemplorum." see F. and Reeves. As both Provincialfor the FriarsMinor and as Queen Isabella's confessor. 20. Madrid. the Liber de Provincialibus Presagiis and the major works of the abovementioned Joachite Franciscans. Balaguer limits his lists to holdings in Catalonia. 27 J. Philadelphia.C. 11. History of Franciscan Libraries in the Middle Ages (Washington. Abbot Joachim of Fiore. 156. 182. Liber de Concordia Novi ac Veteris Testamenti (American Philosophical Society. its ex26 A model survey of Catalonia has been made by Pere Borigas i Balaguer. the spuriousRevelacions de S.but his own piety and intentionswere held in high reputation. Prophecy. with its victories against the Moors.27 It is true that one tenet of the SpiritualFranciscanteaching called for for only small convent librariesto meet minimalrequirements preaching without corruptingvows of poverty. Russo. p. Ximenes immediatelyinitiatedchanges of Castile. he extended his reforms to all Franciscanconvents." Butllet( de la Biblioteca de Catalunya 6 (1920-1932). he was elevated to the archbishopric Toledo throughout which made him Primateof all Spain and Chancellorof Spain. Francis had large book holdings anyway.29Spain. its Inquisitionagainst heretics. Other lists are found in E. at the encouragementof CardinalXimenes. 26.. SpanishFranciscanlibrarieshave not been adequatelysurveyedfor their Joachite or other propheticholdings. In 1495. Guardianof Santa Mariade La R~ibida. Barcelona and Carpentras. however." lists several such as the Refundicio compendiada de la summa concordiae Veteris et Novi Testamenti di Joachim. After the fifteenth century in Spain. He undoubtedlyexceeded his legal rights in suppressingthe Conventualbranchof the Order.leader of the Discalced movement and reformerof the Franciscanhouses in Extremadura.and Fray John Perez. D. Daniel. 1983). 29 Balaguer. pp. 44. 16. Using his new position. p. but the appointmentof Francis Ximenes de Cisneros as Provincialfor the Castile Province in 1492 intensified the reformmovementwhich ended in the dominationby the Observantine branchof the Orderin Spain. p. Bible commentaries and exegeses. homiletical works. . Copies of Joachim of Fiore's Liber de Concordia novi et veteris Testamenti survive in Spain and there are copies of the so-called pope prophecies (Liber de summisPontificibus). Transactions 73. Francesc. Lenhart. "Profecies Catalanes. "Profecies Catalanes dels segles xiv-xv: Assaig bibliogrific.28 Numerous compilations of prophetic texts were collated in the later Middle Ages throughoutEurope. pp. 53.300 MISSION APOCALYPTIC ANDFRANCISCANS Ximenes. Reforms toward a stricterobservanceof the Rule of 1223 spreadamong scatteredFranciscanconvents after 1390. 1954). 511-540. "Profecies Catalanes. Fray Juan of Guadalupe.26 The typical Franciscanconvent libraryformed a nucleus of books related to preaching:Bibles. 1954). Bibliografia Gioachimita (Firenze.3-49.

naturallyturnedto prophetic texts to seek eschatological explanationsfor its successes. pp. Isidore sent to all the nobles of Castile in 1486 by Don Rodrigo Ponce de Le6n. 332-346. was a commentary on St. see Reeves. 32 Ibid. For the medieval idea of the sleeping emperorreturnedto life. 1893) t. A clear example of this trend was the productionin the mid-fourteenth century of the Summula sue Breviloquiumsuper Concordia novi et Veteris Testamenti. and its nationalisticaspirationsexpressed by unification of the kingdoms of the Iberianpeninsula. 218 (typescript). but one which touched the religious communitytoo. the Breviloquiumwas a "revised Joachimismto fit the times.33 The invention of printing increased the distributionof prophetic texts 30 Lee & Reeves. identified King Ferdinandas the New David and the reincarnation the last world emperorwho supposedlyhad been asleep of for several centuries.The evidence points to significant familiaritywith the works of Peter Olivi. who have made a thoroughstudy of this text. Breviloquium.excerpts from other genuine writings by the CalabrianAbbot. Arnold of Villanova and Jean de Roquetailladeby the author. well larded with figurae. p. 106. John and St.DELNO WEST 301 pulsion of the Jews. According to Harold Lee and MarjorieReeves. Prophecy.. 1 (typescript). 33Historia de los hechos de Don Rodrigo Ponce de Ledn. 3' Ibid. Marqudsde Cddiz (Colecci6n de documentos in6ditos parala historiade Espaiia. Lee and Reeves interpretthis as closely following Joachim of Fiore's symbolism which used the ascent of Zorobabelto Jerusalemto typify the usheringin of the New Age.31This "novus Zorobabel" would be the final power of righteousness:a priest-kingwho wouldjoin Churchand state to bringpeace and justice. Drs. He would recapture Jerusalem and usher in a period of "silence" during which the temple would be rebuilt. The Breviloquiumwas a synthesis of Joachitethoughtcontainingpartsof Joachim's Liber de Concordia Novi et Veteris Testamenti.p.This importantmanuscript."30 The author of the Breviloquiumsaw the rise of Catalonia and Arag6n under a "novus Zorobabel" as representativeof the fourth beast and the eleventh kingdom from the seed of the eagle (Rome). convert the Jews and infidels. 226 (typescript). 247-248.. pp. p. was composed between 1351-1355 and frequentlyrecopied at least until 1488. plus pseudo-Joachiteand Joachite literature. . This commentary. Madrid.distributedwith the king's permission and blessing. concord charts and pope prophecies."32 Perhapsthe most influential and importanttreatise for the laic community. and gather all "the sheep together underone shepherd.

see Milhou. he wrote to the tutorof Prince John of Spain to explain the significance of October 12.302 ANDFRANCISCANS MISSION APOCALYPTIC Europe. a rapid conversion of all the world. Libro del Antecristo(writtenc. old and new. p.36He came to the conclusion that his discoveries were providentialand part of a broaderscheme which would lead to a final series of historicalevents including the recapture of Jerusalem.34Ampi~s had summarizedeschatological writings. It was naturalto believe that these constellationsof events were connected and that Christ'sChurchwas lands discovered in 1492. Gill Fernandez. On this asssociationand the possibility of his membershipin the ThirdOrderof St. infidels and pagans. Francis. chap. 36 Columbus' close association with the FranciscanOrdercannot be ignored as it placed him in the center of apocalypticenthusiastsof the late fifteenthcentury. xxvii. reflectingon his discoveries." Actas del I Congreso Internacionalsobre Los Franciscanos en el Nuevo Mundo (Madrid. destined to survive in the unspoilt.. he stated that he had seen the site of the Gardenof Eden. 35 Ibid. and a golden age of life and knowledge where all Scripturalmeaning would be revealed. in his thirdjournal and in a letter to Pope Alexander VI in 1502. Furthermore.35 The circulation of apocalyptic writings and their popularity coincided with the desire for a fundamentalredemptionin the FranciscanOrderand indeed the entire ChristianChurchin Spain. 42-43. 1492: of God mademe the messenger the New Heavenand the New Earthof I 34 refer to the Burgos edition of 1497 held by the BibliothequeNational in Paris (R6s. Col6n. concluding that the world strugglebetween the forces of Antichrist (backed by Jews and Moslems) and Christendomwas imminent. addedmore fuel to the apocalypticfires alreadyburningin Spain. This war would result in Christianvictory led by the Spanish monarch. pp. On two occasions. and J. 1493) and the older Epistolas de Rabi Samuel.The collection included miscellaneoussermonsand treatiseswhich discussed contemporarypropheticthemes and two importantapocalyptictexts: MartinMartinez de Ampi~s. . The ProtestantReformation. It became popularto publishanthologiesof prophecyas throughout well as the texts of important propheticwriters. D. the rebuilding of the temple. and the salvation of all Jews. An example of such anthologies in Spain was the compilationof apocalypticalwritings made by the publishinghouse of Pablo Hurusin 1495 or 1496 at Zaragoza. 1987). "Los franciscanosy Col6n. 101. 6201). coming on the heels of the discovery of the New World. uncorrupted of to Columbus'attraction propheticinterpretation events set Christopher the stage for New World eschatology. and his close ties to the Franciscan orderplaced him within their circle of mysticism.

But Ferrer could not resist commenting on the apocalyptical significance of Columbus' discoveries and mission: . the Catalan jeweler. JaimeFerrerde Blanes. pt. . togetherwith his friend and fellow Italian. Madrid.was publishedseveraltimes in Italian. 1495.ChristopherColumbus:His Life. II.Primera y segunda parte de la historia general de las Indias (Biblioteca de Autores Espafioles.Divine Providence sent the great Thomas from Occident to Orient to preach in India our holy catholic faith. p. 81. nevertheless.38 The confusion over what exactly Columbushad discovered led some of his contemporaries to believe that western Christianity would soon be linked with mythicalorientalChristianity. then it was assumedthathe would come into contactwith those Christiancommunitiesfirst formedby the Apostle Thomas. Columbus.37 Columbus so firmly believed that his discovery was the fulfillment of prophecythathe devoted the monthsbetween his thirdand fourthvoyage to compiling the Libro de las profecias in which he. broughttogether relevant Scriptures and Biblical commentariesto prove his strong conviction. after having told of it by the mouth of Isaiah. Francisco 38 Christopher L6pez de G6mara. Fray GasparGorritio. . 1852) t. p. 369.His Remains (KrausReprint. Bannedin Spain by King Philip II. John. 1.B. and you were sent in the opposite direction. Journal. That is why they call it the New World. 66. . 165. His Work. 39For a copy of this letter see J. Libro de las profecias (Racolta Colombina.. 105. Letterto AlexanderVI.. geographer. p.4 To him it was impor37 Racolta di documentie studi pubblicati della R. and He showed me where to find it. (Scritti di Colombo. astrologer and advisor to the Spanish monarchs.and thus will be accomplished the supreme prediction that the whole world shall be underone shepherdand one law." Hispanic Victrix.DELNO WEST 303 which He spoke in the Apocalypse by St. 4 Columbus. Roma.wrote to Columbuson August 5. English and Latin from 1556 to 1605. the discovery of the New World was seen by him and othersas an event which rankedwith the Creationand with Christ's Incarnation and Passion.p. . ed. p. New York. 22. the Historia. p. 1967) II. Cathyr. Chaplainto HernfinCort6s and whose history was one of the most popular New World accounts. 156. proclaimedthe discovery the "greatestevent since the creationof the world except for the birthand deathof our Savior. CommissioneColombianaper quarto centenario della scopeda dell' America C6sar de Lollis. 1894) II. He even composed a chronology in his treatise in which he calculated that the sequences he outlined would happen within the next 155 years. . French.39 Columbus declared that the discoveries he had made were the unidenti- fied Biblical lands of Tarshish. Historiographically and eschatologically. 1). Thacher.If he had trulylandedin a partof the far east. p.Profecias. 38. pt. . and Ophir. to give the Admiral geological tips for finding gold during his third voyage.

41 In the Libro de las profecias. The influence of Peter D'Ailly's Imago mundihas long been recognized as one of Columbus' chief sources for ideas about cosmography.D'Ailly in Imago mundi and in the knowledge OpusculaprovidedColumbuswith summariesof contemporary cosmos' eschatology. La scopertaAmericananella coscienze italiana del Cinquecento(Cicby ciardi. "Prophecy and Discovery: On the SpiritualOrigins of ChristopherColumbus' 'Enterprise of the Indies'. Forschungen. 53-56. 72."43 about the physical cosmos and about that The Admiral's studies of Peter D'Ailly's texts and his knowledge of the pseudo. 1898). McGinn has shown that the history of prophetic thought from the late Middle Ages . 80. The idea of the noble savage was quickly transmitted Columbus. 1954). Peter Martyr. Romeo. selected ChurchFathers. . 148. die triburtinischeSibylle (Halle. well formed.42 Columbus'primaryscriptural ences were the Psalms and the apocryphalEsdras. Zion. 43P.L'Amdrique le rave exotique dans la littirature Frangaise au xvii et xviii sidcles (Paris. Chinard. See also R. Attributinghis beliefs to Scripturalpassages. prophets. Sackur.Methodius. is study of the pseudo-Methodius still E. Profecias. The native population of the lands he had found he said were "unclothed. The pseudo-Methodiustext was written in the Byzantine Empireduringthe seventh century and printedat Cologne in 1475 and again by Sebastian Brant in 1498. 1934). he urged the monarchs to note key passages in Matthew. Modern scholarshipby P.44 41 Ibid.SibyllinischeTexteu. . et and Amerigo Vespucio. p. 44 The standard Pseudo-MethodiusAdso u.and well known medieval theologians. 92. unarmedand not practicing idolatry. these descriptionswere encouragingas they pictured a people already living in Gospel simplicity ready to receive the message of salvation." AmericanHistorical Review 90 (1985). he developed basic themes in which the Spanish monarchywas called by God to convertthe newly found paganpeoples and referto recaptureJerusalemand Mt. To the early Franciscanmissionaries. M. p. p.304 AND FRANCISCANS MISSION APOCALYPTIC tant that action be taken immediately. Mark and Luke. which he interpretedas a command for the Gospel to be preached to the Indians. p. He also gives creditto the pseudo. In a letter accompanying the Libro de las profecias addressed to Ferdinand and Isabella (dated 1502 or 1503). Alexander. An excellent study is by G.Methodius led him to conclude that a victorious monarch would This period of bliss defeat the Moslem and initiate a period of tranquility.A recent study of Columbus' use of Peter D'Ailly's Opuscula demonstrates the role of D'Ailly's otherwritingswhich were more oriented equally important toward prophetic interpretation: ". Watts. Columbushad planned to summarizehis eschatological thoughts in a lengthy epocalyptic poem but he died before finishing the task.his favorite non-Biblical authorswere PeterD'Ailly.the Sybils. Reeves and B. 42 Columbus.. Merlin and to Joachimof Fiore." This pristineimage became engravedin the Europeanmind when it was publishedby PeterMartyrin his De Orbe Novo. and exegetes of prophecy. see especially pp. but preparedto believe in one God as creator.

Alexander. the first New Worldbishop. 108. M.46The friars quickly built convents at Santo Domingo and Concepci6nde la Vega. 295ff." ArchivumFranciscanumHistoricumXXVII (1934). the Guardian La R~ibida. . "Patronof the Holy Places. it was not Columbuswho finally developed as the majortheme the idea of a final empire." originally inherited by King Pedro IV had been retainedby the house of Arag6n. Lippens. 43-45. missionarioAmericae (1493-1510). "Primeros intentos de evangelizaci6n franciscanaen TierraFirma 1508-1553. 184-187.and his Libro de las profecias reflectedlate fifteenthcentury eschatological ideas which promotedapocalypticmission and the recapture of Jerusalem. The popularityof this theme in Spain is seen clearly in the works of several sixteenth. pp. * H. "Sobre los conceptos de monarqufay naci6n en el pensamiento politico espafiol del siglo xvii. 33-35. P. 81 and p. 47 L.and seventeenth-century writers such as Matins de Paz and Juan de Palafox. The monarchwould flee to Jerusalemwherehe would die just before the Antichrist would appear.ConsequentlyColumbusbelieved that an all out effort should be made. Ioanne de la Deules. an observer and other Franciscansto begin mission activity.FrayGarciade Padilla.. p. pp. The title. pp. organizedand promotedby the monarchsof Spain. 99-100. Prophecy. 275-285. Profecias.47ScatteredFranciscanmissions continuedbut none were too successful in convertingthe Indianpeoples from their native beliefs.DELNO WEST 305 would be short lived when the "gates of the north" would be opened and those people shut out in ancient times by Alexanderthe Greatwould flood in. 70. and in 1504.45 The selection of the Spanish monarchy to capture Jerusalemwas not without legal basis either. These two and others assertedthat such a kingdomwould be raised up in the New Worldunder Spanish leadership according to J. As early as his second voyage he had taken of as along his friendFrayJohn P6rez. Reeves." Cuadernosde Historia de Espafia (Buenos Aires. 37. Pope AlexanderVI appointeda Franciscan. which explains his urgency in proposing that the Spanish monarchscaptureJerusalem. Christ would return. "De Fr. The generaltheme of the last world empirewas based on the book of Daniel in the Old Testament." ArchivumFranciscanumHistoricumL (1957). Despite Columbus'insistentplea that the Spanishmonarchstake up their prophesiedrole in unfoldingworld events. 47-82. 1950). pp. This theory developed a succession of world kingdoms culminatingin the messianic fifth monarchy. After a brief reign by Antichrist. B. McGinn. p. The astrology of Peter D'Ailly and Roger Bacon (intriumphantly corporatedinto Imago Mundi) indicated to Columbus that the stars were moving into properposition for these events to occur.and selected patternsfrom Joachite thought. p. 1979). 45 Columbus. Visions of the End: ApocalypticTraditionsin the MiddleAges (New York." Medievalia et Humanisticans 2 (1971). Columbus' close association with the Orderof FriarsMinor stimulated his spirituality. the pseudo-Methodius. "Byzantium and the Migration of Literary Works and Motifs: The Legend of the Last World Emperor. Canedo. From the beginning Columbuswas concernedwith the conversion of the peoples he had discovered. Jover.

had been sent to the Spanishcourtand failed to return 5' Only eleven sailed. pp. 1523.a dream of the Franciscanssince the thirteenthcentury. threeFranciscanshad alreadyarrivedin Mexico led by Peterof Ghent. a relativeof CharlesV. The symbolism of sending twelve brothersof the Orderwas noticed by everyone. FrayMartinde la Corufia on time to catch the ship. loyal to the pope and one like the Apostolic Age. He was.Lettersof Cortis (New York & London. 1908) II. Ger6nimo convents de Mendietaand otherswere sent from the reformedObservantine of Spain and sought to create a monastic spiritualchurchbased on the vita apostolica . Mendieta. specifically Mendicants. but they were working on their own without official recognition. p. McNutt. Charles V responded favorably by appointingthe respected FranciscanProvincialof San Gabriel. Ger6nimo de Mendieta used the typology of the New Moses who had opened the lands in the New World for missionaries to initiate a new Christendom. In his descriptionof Cort6s' piety. Cort6swas a sincerely pious man who was perceived for as subjugatingthe New Worldin preparation the Gospel message. nevertheless. could be established. pictured Europelost to the forces of Lutherjust when the New Worldwas opened by the new Moses so that a reformedchurch.48 The missionariessent in responseto Cort6s'plea recognizedthe potential for a new churchin a new land. Fray Martin and his companions poverty. It was Cort6swho persuaded Hernoin King CharlesV to make a major commitmentto spreadthe Gospel to the New World Indians. Fray Francisco de los Angeles (Quinofies) on 25 January1524.51The party was chosen from the province of Extremadura.49 Cort6s'fourthletterto CharlesV containsa lengthy appealfor the king to send missionaries. officially listed as belonging to the group.306 APOCALYPTIC MISSION AND FRANCISCANS convinced the Spanishrulersto action. Amid extraordinary were commissioned by the missionary-minded Minister-Generalof the FriarsMinor in person. to lead a party of twelve Franciscans to the New World. 50F. Martinde Valencia. A majormissionarythrustinto the New Worldhad been also the dreamof Franciscode los Angeles who had plannedto lead a mission there 48 Phelan. 213-217. Millennial Kingdom. to spread the Gospel in the lands he had taken for the crown. 29. Fray Martinde Valencia. . Motolinia. Cort6s'home and a noted center for Franciscanreformwith an unusuallystrict emphasis upon austerityand ceremony. 49Ibid. in the Preface letter to his Historia eclesidstica indiana.5?He specifically requested Franciscan and Dominican friars so that the Indians would be taught Christianityby both word and example without the embellishmentsand less pious ways of the secular clergy. Actuallyon August 30.

O sons.. 4 Ibid. this one presses. To you..53 In this same vein. and to forestallthe ruin which threatened Church.. f. But now thatthe day is farspentandpassingaway. pp. Joseph is identified as the Order of St.taking up the victorious contest of the heavenly Victor. 357. .DELNO WEST 307 himself before being called to Church administration. therefore. with the last end of the world at hand. 1972). toward liberatingand snatchingaway from the maw of the dragonthe souls redeemed with the most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. p.. f. Francis.. Academy of American Franciscan History. you are called by the head of the family to go forth into His vineyard. According to Moto- linia. ff. Summula seu Breviloquium super Concordia novi et veteri Testamenti (British Library.. indeed. ed. In the concord tables of the Breviloquium. the and continuing. 155.54 s2 Motolinia.. 348-350. 16r. 68') and Joseph and St. D. but rather like true sons of such a father. the author clearly chose the Friars Minor as the order of New Men selected to fulfill the prophetic role in the salvation of the world.52 The intense wording of the Minister-General's"Obedience" issued to these friarsreflected Franciscode los Angeles' interestand called attention to the eschatologicalurgency of their mission in what he called "these last days. And St. Joachim of Fiore used various types in his schemata to symbolize the new orders of men. St. Francis in the concords. Chavez. because this was the numberwhich Christtook in His company to carryout the conversion of the world. 22 and 204). . Joachim also used Elijah and Elisha (Liber de Concordia. And thereforeat present I do not send more than one superiorand twelve companions. 1150). you preach by word and work. did the same for announcingthe Gospel. Eg.I might labor with the apostolic man and father of ours. the bounty of the EternalFatherchose the same seraof phic standard-bearer Christto exalt the glory of His name and procurethe salvationof souls. . as to how with all the cunningof my bowels and continualsighs of my heart. p. Francis. Besides Moses and Elijah. 53 The Oroz Codex (A.not hired for a price like the others. and trans.. and finally.whichis the eleventh hour of which the the Gospel speaks.. Francisco de los Angeles relatedhis vision in privateto Fray Martin using vegetation symbolism of harvesting "spiritual fruits" from the expected mission. In the Breviloquium. Washington. . Historia.C. Appendix.For. deceived by Satanic wiles.hurrydown now to the active life. . John the Evangelist (Expositio in Apocalypsim." which are a list of practicaland administrative points." Among the continuouscares and affairs which daily presentthemselves to me and occupy my mind. our father. the Minister-General commandedthem in his "Instructions. worriesand afflicts me first of all.

Motolinia presents an interesting account of Provincial Martin de Valencia. SantaMariadel Berrocallater was incorporated the Custody of San Gabriel.stopping frequentlyin the islands before proceedingto Mexico. 156.we are told. they landed on the shore of Mexico May 12 duringthe Vigil of Pentecost.When the new missionariesarrived.55The new missionariestraveledslowly to their assignment. former. strippedoff his clothes and renouncedhis worldly relationsand goods. Francis. a member of the group and its chief chronicler.Hernmin Cort6sled a large entourageof officials out to meet them. Francis. . these men scatteredin twos and fours to preachthe Gospel by word and example as instructedcenturiesbefore by St. emphasized the missionarycommandof St. Motolinia sought to underline Fray Martin's piety and tells us. dismounted. Fray Martinde Valencia lived underFrayJuande Guadalupe'sdirectionfor several monthsto achieve extreme poverty and an austerelife. Francis. Eitherby accidentor by design. He recordsthat upon finishing his novitiate. appearedbefore his lowing the thirteenth-century family and friends in Valencia. p. Almost immediately. into Francis'Rule of 1223. Historia.308 MISSION AND FRANCISCANS APOCALYPTIC To furtheremphasizetheirmission Franscisode los Angeles namedthe new Custos. Fray Martin.took off his hat. The Discalced reformparty of Juan de Guadalupelikely had been touched by the growing eschatological thought of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Eventually. Sent off as the "new Apostles" these twelve friarswere received across the ocean in the same manner.Fray Juande Guadalupehad introducedextenin sive reformsat the five convents in Extremadura orderto reestablishthe ideal of strict observanceof the Rule of 1223. Francisfound in Chapter12 of the Rule of 1223. frequentlywent into ecstasy and rapture. for example. especially whenever he meditated on the cross and passion of Christ. To him Fray Martinachieved a remarkableimitationof the life of St. the "Custody of the Holy Gospel. Thus the Franciscanmission to Mexico paralleledin time and symbol that of the twelve Apostles." Motolinia. folexample of St. We know that Fray Martinde Valencia. FrayMartin. he establishedhis own friary at Santa Maria del Berrocalbased on a literal following of St. while he was Provincialat San was a follower of the well known FranciscanreGabriel in Extremadura. knelt and kissed the hem of FrayMartin'srobe. In the middle of a sermon. his body would go rigid and his fellow friarswould have to carryhim back to his cell. Juande Guadalupe. how Martin ss Motolinia.

s7The relationshipof the Iglesia indiana to Europeanconcepts of utopia has been studied by G. and the world's final era. FrayMartinhad a vision which he laterunderstoodas the New Worldmission. Later in the New World. 102-103. Anthony who consoled him. see especially pp. 151-152. health or the weather. who recorded it. and because they received the Gospel message so anxiously. Utople."56 Fray Martin and his brothershad come from Franciscanhouses which had undergonea reformwithin a reform. Because he believed the Indian characterclosely resembled that believed to have been the natureof Christiansduring the apostolic age of the Church. he related this vision to Motolinia. he was reflecting on Psalm 58 which he believed prophesiedthe conversion of all unbelievers.DELNO WEST 309 always traveledbarefooted(the symbol of Discalced poverty) regardlessof his age. and declared: "Now I see fulfilled what the Lord showed me in his spirit. they as discalced or barefooted friars. In 1510 or 1511. . followed an even stricteradherenceto the Rule of 1223 than did other Observantinehouses. pp." Laterin the same week while readingfrom the prophet Isaiahto the assembledbrothers.. duringthe Advent season. Now these friars were in a new world untouchedby the corruptionof the old. 83-84. he began to shout over and over. locked him in his cell where he remainedin ecstasy most of the day and prayed to be chosen to preach and convert all heathen. He asked. Francis and St. at the end of our days. Motolinia wrote an idealized account of the native populationin his Historia de los indios de la Nueva EspaTiawhere he picturedthem as natural practitionersof Franciscanapostolic poverty."57In a pristine land. Earlyin his career. visions and heights of contemplativebliss possible only throughextreme meditationand denial of the body.we are already in the afternoon. "When will this be? When will this prophecy be filled. Baudot. The chronicler describes Fray Martin as to to being happiestwhen he retreated his hermitageat Amaquemecan meditate. That is. among a noble receptive people.he enteredinto a state of ecstasy and saw a vision of vast multitudesbeing converted and baptised. Here dreams of "renovatio ecclesiae" could become a realtiy throughthe "Iglesia indiana. . Overcome by this sight. "Praise be Jesus Christ!" The assembled friars believing him to have gone mad. Their austerity frequently led to ecstasy. . apocalyptic hopes could flourish. On at least one occasion his deep contemplationwas rewarded at Amaquemecanby visitations from St. he believed their conversion had eschatological significance: s6 Ibid.

45. p. 6 Ger6nimode Mendieta. praised and extolled. schools had been organized. 226-227. he elaborately outlined how the discovery of the Motolinia. de 1950). ed. 194. 61 C. 1868) IX. he changed his name from Toribio de Benavente to "Motolinia" because "Motolinia" was Tlaxcalanfor "poor one. pp. Shortly after landing in Mexico.Indeed. the missionary effort was showing great success." Colecciknde documentosindditosrelativosal descubrimiento.62In chapter 15. he exhibits an intense devotion to St.. 144-146. Historia. It has been estimated that Indian conversions could be counted into the thousands. other religious orders had joined with the Franciscansin the missionary effort. 490-491.61The play performedat Tlaxcala made sense for now was the time to initiate interestin the second stage of the apocalyptic expectation-. Ibid. 62 JOs6 Acosta. Braden. pp. p."60 By 1539. He became an expert on the Indiansand in his chronicle exhorted the king of Spain to hurrythe missionaryprocess so that he might rightfully assume his role as the leader of Christ's worldwide Ger6nimode Mendietareached similar conclusions about how kingdom. p.Jos6 de Acosta summarizedthe early eschatologicalimpulse of the Franciscanmissionarys'view of their work in Historia natural y moral de las Indias. Iguiniz. Vasco de Quirogabelieved that the Indian churchreflected the church of the apostles and that the age in which he was writing (1535) was the "golden age of the New World. and an organizedChurchhad been imposed upon New Spain." Motoliniaheld variousoffices rising to Provincial. Pacheco. and just as the name of God flourishedat the beginning of the of so in Church theEast(whichis thebeginning theearth) now.Religious Aspects of the Conquestof Mexico (Durham." See his "Informaci6nen derecho del licenciado Quiroga. Historia naturaly moral de las Indias (Fondode Cultura Econ6mica. sobre algunas Provisiones del Consejo de Indias (1535). ed. 1945). Acosta likens the passage to the New World by Fray Martinand his brothersto Noah's ark guardedby an angel. Although he was not a Franciscan.conquistay organizaciknde las antiguas posesiones espaiiolas de America y Occeania (J.. Madrid. p. Vidasfranciscanas (J. In his Historia. 58 9 . His devotion is best demonstrated the name he took upon his arrival in the New World. Mexico City.the conquestof Jerusalem. at theendof in it the centuries. 182. Francis and in the ideal of poverty. 1930).. mustflourish the West(whichis the endof the earth)."59 the Spanishking had been given uncommonpowers on earthwith the concurrentobligation to carryout missionarywork in the New World because the "world is in its eleventh hour. Mexico City. Motoliniacould very well have authoredthe play himself and caused its performance.310 MISSION ANDFRANCISCANS APOCALYPTIC Everywhereon this roundearththe name of God must be glorified.58 Motolinia had also been a member of the Discalced Reform movement led by Fray Juan of Guadalupe while he was living at the Custody of Piedad.

Spain is interpretedas the spiritualJerusalemto whom God had shown a new world to save. Yucatin sounded too much like the mysterious Biblical land of "Jortan" and its natives' religious practices incorporatedseveral Jewishlike rituals such as circumcision and Christiansymbols such as the cross and paintedicons which resembledChrist. and the Trinity. Chapter4. This theory.Historia de las cosas de Nueva Espaisa (Mexico. Lugduni. 1592). 1492-1929) (Austin. De temporibusnovissimis was an attemptto work out God's redemptive history through the use of concordantprophecies.63 Not everyone viewed the American Indian as the naturalpossessor of a naturereminiscentof those Christiansin the Apostolic Church. of course. accordingto the ApocryphalEsdras.64 Many arguedthatthe Indianshad to be descendedfrom the lost ten tribes of Israel. the exegetes hoped to find an announcementof the discovery among the Old Testamentprophetsor in the New TestamentApocalypse. 1965). It was during debates over the human and naturalrights of the native population of the New World that a common interest in eschatology touched the scholarsof the sixteenthcentury. The of exploration of Yucatin offered visible proof to back up this seductive thesis. p. For a fascinatingaccountof this search. de 65 Bernardino Sahagtin. 359.The suddendiscovery of such a large. De temporibusnovissimis (bound afterDe Christo revelato. who. . Huddleston. 342ff. The gist of their argumentwas that the Indians were sub-human and thus legally and morally subject to exploitation.Many questioned whetherthe Indianscould be consideredhumanand if they even had a soul since no reference was made to them in Scriptureor in the ancient classics. pp.65 63Jos6 de Acosta. real or imagined. in this treatise.DELNO WEST 311 New World had been prophesiedby both Isaiah and Obadiah. His emphasis. De temporibus history novissimis in 1592. Mary. on the original twelve missionaries sent to Mexico has overtones of Joachim of Fiore's twelve spiritualleaders who would usher in the New Age.that he wrote a separatetreatise. 1956).Origins of the AmericanIndian: European Concepts. 64 The search to explain the origin of the native populationsof the New World has continuedto the twentieth century with scholars at one time or anotheradvocatingnearly every ancient people. known to history. it fed new fuel to the glowing embers of apocalypticismas it made them God's people revealed near the end of time whose salvationwould heraldthe consummation history. Ideally. see L. not only strengthenedthe legal position of the native population. unknown populationposed importantquestions to churchmenand to laymen of the day which caused a rush to search the Scripturesfor answers. would return at the end of time. Texas. Acosta was so anxious to incorporate New Worldinto the spiritual the of Christendom.

Instead. The latter discussion of the possibility of an Apostolic mission to the the Americaswas an importantone due to the confusion surrounding Aztec legend of Quetzalc6atl. Scripture. Origen de los Indios de el Nuevo Mundo e Indias Occidentales (Madrid. 146. Based on firmly held eschatologicalbeliefs. 69Motolinia. 1929). he said. 325. Studies.312 MISSION AND FRANCISCANS APOCALYTrrIC Another non-Franciscan. Thomas legend is to be found among the first voyages to Brazil by the Portuguesewho had come into contact with the St.'67 this could have happened as God could have caused angels to thinking. 228. then contemporaryIndian rituals and beliefs indicatedthe extent to which the message had deteriorated. the FranMotoliniahad alreadyarrivedat the same conclusion a halfciscan Order. Many Indian religious practices were suspiciously similar to Christianity. Thomas legend earlier in India. transportthe apostle to the New World. . p. Garcia concluded. See also Enriqueda Gandfa.the ChurchFathers. No apostle had carriedthe Gospel to the Indians from the early church. Alverna. authorities of ancient science from Greece and Rome. Francis on Mt. p. 262 and p. This legend had led some to believe that St.Gregorio Garcia. who claims that first mentionof this was in 1510 when explorersreportedthatthey had found the "remaindersof St. he exhibitedan century of even clearerunderstanding an apocalypticrole for the Franciscansfor he maintainedthat when the seraphic angel appearedto St. and the possibility of an Apostolic mission before the arrivalof the Franciscans. 35.Historia critica de los mitos de la Conquistade Amdrica(Buenos Aires. Thomas. "Profecies Catalanes. p. 218. p. For a descriptionof this prophecy see Balaguer.68 earlier. believes thatthe seed of the St. 67 G6ngora. Motolinia probably got this prophecy from the so-called Revelacions de Sant Francesc which describedsupposedrevelationsto the SeraphicSaint while he meditatedon Mt.66 arranged study into three broadareas:a generalpolitical historyof the New Worldbefore Columbus.If St. Historia. God had saved this mission for the spiritualsons of the Apostles. wrote the most scholarly account of the Hebrew origin of the AmericanIndianand tied their destiny to the Order of the Friars Minor.and contemporarytheologians. that such was not the case. he producedin 1607 the lengthy Origen de los Indios his He del Nuevo Mundoe Indias Occidentales. Thomas had preachedthe Gospel to the Indians centuries before. Within the context of pure spiritual Thomas' message had been debased. however. Thomas had delivered the Gospel message to the New World. Compiling an impressive list of sources which included the thinking of the past century.69 66 GregorioGarcia." p." 68Garcia. the origins of the Indians. but that over such a long period of time outside the mainstreamof Christianity. it told him that his orderwould bring the Gospel to the people of the New World. Origen de los Indios. 1729). Alverna.

29a. 70 Juande Sol6rzano Pereira. writtenin 1648. once the Gospel has been preachedthroughoutthe world. the Day of Judgementwill come.and thus. who stated the apocalypticFranciscanposition most eloquently. 1648).DELNO WEST 313 Spanish Franciscan apocalypticism in the Age of Discovery reflected long held views of renovatio ecclesiae mixed with contemporaryapocalyptic thinking which producedan urgency for action among the missionaries. . I.. he wrote: Spain as saviors and announcersof the Gospel will become mastersof the cities of the West which are those of the New World.Politica Indiana (Madrid. Juan de Sol6rzano Pereira. . v-vi. such thinking infiltrated the most learned and skeptical minds of the times. Although mystical and apocalyptical. . p. It was a layman and jurist. Arizona DELNO WEST C.70 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff. . In his Politica Indiana.

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