Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A Spanish missionary, date of birth unknown; died in the West Indies, 1545. Of his early life little is known. He entered the Order of St. Dominic and made his religious profession in the convent of St. Stephen, Salamanca, where in all probability he studied. He was noted for his exemplary piety, his love of strict observance, his eloquence, and moral courage. In September, 1510, under the leadership of Pedro de Cordova, he landed with the first band of Dominicans in Hispaniola. He was the first, in 1511, to denounce publicly in America the enslavement and oppression of the Indians as sinful and disgraceful to the Spanish nation. Being censured for this, he was cited to Spain in 1512, where he pleaded the cause of the Indians so successfully that the king took immediate measures towards ameliorating their condition. In June, 1526, with Father Anthony de Cervantes, he accompanied several hundred colonists under the leadership of Ayllón to Guandape, probably where the English subsequently founded Jamestown; or, as some are inclined to think, proceeded even as far as New York. In either case, however, we are safe in asserting that Holy Mass was celebrated for the first time in the present territory of the United States by these Dominicans. On the death of Ayllón (Oct., 1526) the colony abandoned the country and returned to San Domingo. According to Helps, "Spanish Conquest in America", he went to Venezuela about 1528 with twenty of his brethren. Nothing more is known of him except the slight information furnished by a note in the margin of the registry of his profession in the convent of St. Stephen at Salamanca, which says: "Obiit martyr in Indiis". He is the author of "Informatio juridica in Indorum defensionem".


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • 'Contemplative communities are not immune': Pope Francis on prayer
  • Christ apparition in Mexico
  • Daily Reading for Monday, July 25th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. James the Greater: Saint of the Day for Monday, July 25, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Monday, July 25, 2016
  • 'She is the witness to the risen Christ': Mary Magdalene honored

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 18:20-32
20 Then Yahweh said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-13
1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 2:12-14
12 You have been buried with him by your baptism; by which, too, you have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2016 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He ... Read More