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Francisco Pareja

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Missionary, probably born at Auñon in the Diocese of Toledo, Spain, date unknown; died in Mexico, 25 January, 1628. He was sent to Florida with eleven other Franciscans, and arrived at St. Augustine in 1593 or early in 1594. He laboured as a missionary among the savages of the peninsula, notably at San Juan on the coast, and then became guardian of the monastery of the Immaculate Conception, at St. Augustine. He is also styled "custos", and must have held the office before 1613, when the custody was elevated to the rank of a province under the patronage of St. Helena. Subsequently, he joined the province of the Holy Gospel in Mexico. Father Pareja is noted for having published the first books in the language of an Indian tribe within the United States, the Timuquanan, and may for that purpose have gone to Mexico. His various works are: "Catecismo en lengua castellana y timuquana" (Mexico, 1612); "Catecismo y breve exposición de la doctrina cristiana" (Mexico, 1612); "Confesionario en lengua castellana y timuquana" (Mexico, 1613); "Gramatica de la lengua timuquana de Florida" (Mexico, 1614); "Catecismo de la doctrina cristiana en lengua timuquana" (Mexico, 1617); "Catecismo y examen para los que comulgan, en lengua castellana y timuquana" (Mexico, 1627).

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