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Martin of Valencia, O.F.M.

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(Juan Martin de Boil)

Born at Villa de Valencia, Spain, about the middle of the fifteenth century; died in the odour of sanctity at Tlalmanalco, Mexico, 31 August, 1534. He entered the Franciscan Order at Mayorga in the Province of Santiago, built the monastery of Santa Maria del Berrogal, and was the thief founder of the Custody of San Gabriel, for which he visited Rome. In 1523 he was chosen to head a band of twelve Franciscans who were to labour for the conversion of the Mexican natives. They reached their destination on May, 1524, and to the amazement of the Mexican chiefs were received with the most profound veneration by Hernando Cortes shortly after their arrival. (See FRIARS MINOR IN AMERICA.) Fr. Martin, as apostolic delegate, presided at the first ecclesiastical synod in the New World, 2 July, 1524. At the same time he established the Custody of the Holy Gospel, of which he was elected the first custos . After an interval of three years he was re-elected in 1830. He led a most penitential life, and he and his eleven companions the band known as the Twelve Apostles of Mexico, are said to have baptized several million natives.

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