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Diego Carranza

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Born at Mexico, 1559; died at Tehuantepec. He entered the Dominican Order 12 May, 1577, and was sent to Nejapa in Oaxaca after being ordained a priest. He was assigned to the mission among the Chontal Indians, who roamed through the forests almost in a savage condition, although, by their language, they belong to the same linguistic stock as the sedentary Nahuatl. Undergoing great privations, Carranza clung to these forest tribes, and succeeded in partly settling them in hamlets and erecting hermitages where they might worship. For twelve years he led this life of exposure and contracted leprosy. He must have died quite young, but the exact date is unknown. Before his death he erected a church for his wards in the village of Santa Maria Tequiztlan. Details concerning this devoted missionary are very meagre. We know however, that he composed, in the Chontal idiom, a "Doctrina cristiana", "Exercicios espirituales", and "Sermones", which remained in manuscript, but they are now lost. They would be of the greatest value, since hardly anything has been published on this idiom.

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