Portrait of Padre Martínez

AJM-Bissel.Portrait_Text

PadreMartinez-Bissell.bestPadreMartinez-Bissell.best  Cynthia Bissell, a Taos artist, painted this portrait of Padre Antonio José Martínez, Cura de Taos in 1974. We met on Ledoux Street in Taos between the Harwood Foundation and the studio of R. C. Gorman where Cynthia was on a short roster of artists exhibiting work there since 1969. My grandfather’s house was across the Harwood Library where I was doing research for my monograph Reluctant Dawn,

The portrait of Padre Martínez, Cynthia explained to me, was done on plywood in the style of the retablos at the historic adobe church of San José de Las Trampas in northern New Mexico, one of her favorite places. She sent me the portrait as a gift when I was in San Antonio working with the PADRES organization. Cynthia moved to Arizona, and is now deceased.

Vicente M. Martínez, a close relative of the Padre, took a color photo of the portrait. When the Mexican American Cultural Center published Reluctant Dawn in 1976, the photo was reproduced in black-and-white. However, the portrait was published in color for the second edition of Reluctant Dawn published by The Taos Connection in 2006 on occasion of the instatllation and unveiling of the Padre Martínez Memorial in The Taos Plaza, La Honra de Su País/The Honor of His Homeland.

For almost three years, while I was Executive Director of PADRES, the national organization of Hispanic priests, the portrait hung on the wall of the PADRES headquarters on Ashby Street across from MACC. After I left, my successor lend it to Archbishop Sanchez of Santa Fe who kept it in his residence until he retired in 1993. Father Albert Gallegos of Belen, NM took possesion of it, but the portrait was lost after Father Albert’s death.

On the occasion of my Golden Jublilee as a priest in the spring of 2014, while giving a presentation on the Cura de Taos at the parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the portrait resurfaced. The Archdiocese had it in storage, and returned it to “its proper home” at the church in care of its current pastor Rev. Clement Nigel. Padre Martínez had served as pastor of the parish from from 1826 until 1858. As rightful owner of the portrait, I took possession of it, and then immediately inscribed my name and date on the back in testimony of my gifting the portrait to the parish for posterity.

FIFTY YEARS A PRIEST – Fr. Juan Romero




[It is a rare exception that I write about myself on this blog dedicated to Padre A.J. Martínez, but the occasion of my Golden Jubilee makes it “worth it.” – JR]

  “It’s worth it!” says Fr. Juan
Romero, ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles fifty years ago on
April 30, 1964.  A decade ago, he retired from
administration, and moved to the Coachella Valley, part of the vast San
Bernardino-Riverside Diocese, where he has been serving as a
“supply-priest” at various parishes. 
On Saturday May 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm, Father Romero celebrated a fifty-year
anniversary Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Indio where he spent a
year as a “priest-minister.” 
He will celebrate another anniversary Mass on June 21 at the church of
his baptism, the oft-photographed church of St Francis in Ranchos de Taos in
northern New Mexico.

  “The Golden
Jubilee celebration is a special time to give and praise and thanks to God, and
I do!  As long as the Lord gives me life
and breath, I intend to serve God and His people,” stated the jubilarian.  Friends of Father Juan Romero are arranging
an Alaskan Cruise Inside Passage
from August 29 to September 5. 
“It’s a great time and place to get out of the Valley’s summer
heat.  Welcome aboard!” Romero
invited.  For information on the
Celebrity Solstice Cruise that leaves from Seattle, call (800) 772-0847 and ask
for Father Juan’s Desk.

  Father Romero
recalls the last half-century with some nostalgia, great joy, and a lot of
gratitude.  He has had his share of
excitement and even drama as a priest: walking picket lines with farm workers
and going to jail with them in civil disobedience of unjust injunctions;
marching in protest against the Vietnam War in which a so many were killed, especially
the disproportionate number of Mexican Americans; and participating in
broad-based community organizations such as UNO, United Neighborhoods Organization
in East Los Angeles and other places.  “It
was fun to see regular parishioners from different parishes and Protestant
congregations hold politicians accountable for specific benefits to the broader
community,” he stated. “However, the
most important thing I do and have done is to celebrate Mass, baptize, anoint
the sick, hear confessions and give absolution.

  For four decades, he
served in a variety of parishes in the far-flung Archdiocese of Los
Angeles—from Santa Barbara to La Habra in north Orange County when it still
belonged to the L.A. Archdiocese.  He was
assigned as pastor to three different parishes throughout the Archdiocese: in
La Puente (now called Valinda), Santa Monica-Venice, and East Los Angeles where
he served three different times.

  Temporarily released
from assignment in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, he twice worked in
specialized Hispanic ministry on the national level. In the mid- ’70s, Father Romero
worked four years out of San Antonio, Texas as executive director of the PADRES
organization.  For one intensive year in 1984-85,
he worked out of Washington, D.C. on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Bishops’
Spanish Speaking Secretariat as the national coordinator of the Tercer Encuentro, “a fascinating
challenge!”Romero described the job.   Meetings within parishes, dioceses, and large regions
composed of groupings of states in a geographical area took place over a period
of a few years with the purpose of producing a national pastoral plan for the country’s Spanish speaking.  “My job was to wrap up the final
phase of the consultation process among Latino Catholics within the United
States, and to set up the logistics for the culminating event of the Tercer Encuentro Hispano de Pastoral at
Catholic University in August 1985. 

  Father Romero remembers
with nostalgia and gratitude the special relationship he enjoyed with Cesar
Chavez and Dolores Huerta. 
 In November 1972 during the “No on 22
Campaign,” when his family home was unoccupied, Cesar lived in the house for a
month. “He and his staff of about eight people took the place over while Cesar’s
two German shepherd guard-dogs, Boycott and Huelga, commandered the back
yard,” Romero recalled. 

  In April 1973,
Father Romero was part of an inter-religious delegation of clergy and laity who
took a straw poll among workers in the Coachella Valley to ascertain which
union they would prefer to join: the Teamsters or the United Farmworkers. 
“Hands down, it was the UFW,” affirms Romero.  This was during
his PADRES years, and by the late summer that year, Romero spent almost two
weeks “in prayer and fasting” in the Fresno County Jail.  He was in the good company of hundreds of
farmworkers, clergy, religious and lay supporters of farmworkers including
Dorothy Day, the storied apostle of the poor.  “When Chavez died
twenty-one years ago (April 23), I was asked to be in charge of the logistics
for the funeral Mass, and was pleased to do so. 
My own Archbishop and schoolmate, Cardinal Roger Mahony, gave the
homily.”

  Research and writing
about the life and legacy of Padre Antonio José, Cura de Taos (1793-1867), has
been the passionate hobby of Fr. Romero. 
He maintains a blog on the Padre, <thetaosconnecion.com>, has
written a biography on the priest, Reluctant
Dawn
, and was the principal catalyst for having the state of New Mexico in
2006 fund and place in the Taos Plaza a larger than life-sized bronze memorial
of the Padre.

  Retired Air Force
Major Tobias Romero, Father Juan’s oldest brother in the seminary for five
years before going into the Air Force, was unable to make the celebration in
Indio because of ill health.  His older
brother Father Gilbert, Ph. D. (from Princeton, Old Testament) ordained in
1961, accompanied Fr. Juan, and gave him a special blessing at the end of the
Anniversary Mass.  Their father J. Tobias
Romero was ordained a Claretian priest in 1975. 
His last employment, before going into the seminary a year after his
wife died in 1969, was as an accountant for CBS. Father Tobias Romero, the
elder, served in ministry for almost twenty-two years before his death in 1996.

  Father Juan Romero
summed up his half-a-century as a priest:

With the prayerful support of family, my priest-support
group and close friends, I have been able to negotiate life’s road with all its
twists and turns, curves and hills with their downs and ups.  There have been plenty of the former, but even
more of the latter.  My life as a priest has
definitely been worth it, a true blessing of the Lord in His service and that
of His people!

 

PADRE MARTINEZ AND PARTISAN POLITICS




 

 

 

PADRE
MARTINEZ AND PARTISAN POLITICS

 

By

 

Fr. Juan Romero

 

[January 17, 2014 – 221st
birthday of Antonio José Martínez born in Abiquiú, NM in 1793 on the feast day
of San Antonio Abad, father of Western Monasticism.  I wrote this article several years ago, but
publish it on my blog today in honor of the birthday boy.]

 

  “Now is the time for all good men (people) to
come to the aid of their party!” My paternal grandfather, Juan Bautista Romero,
for whom I am named was a man of many talents: teacher, carpenter, poet, and
erstwhile politician.  Grandpa John (as
we called him—with a LONG “o”) ran for office both as a Democrat
and as a Republican, but never won elective office. Padre Martínez, on the
other hand,—priest, educator, rancher, printer-publisher, lawyer, and
politician—won several elections.  At
different times, he served in the legislatures of New Mexico under the flags of
both the Republic of Mexico and later that of the United States of
America.  What was the political party of
this priest-politician of New Mexico in the mold of his ideological mentors Padres
Hidalgo and Morelos of New Spain on its way to becoming the Republic of Mexico?
 Santiago Valdez, the biographer of Padre
Martinez writing in 1877, a decade after the Padre’s death, claimed Padre Martínez
belonged to the “Democratic Party.”[1]  However, was it the Democratic Party we know
today?

  The Democratic Party credits Thomas Jefferson
as its founding spirit, and the Republican Party looks to Alexander Hamilton
and his Federalist ideals as among their guiding principles.  Both Founding Fathers Jefferson and Hamilton
are giants of the American democracy, this republic we call the United States
of America.  In an “era of good feeling”
with its political rivals, the Federalist Party was disappearing, and the Whig
party replaced it by 1815. The Democratic or anti-slavery party of 1846-1851
was not synonymous with today’s Democratic Party, but existed in opposition to
the Whigs.  It began in opposition to the
Federalists, and the principle of states’ rights was a key plank in their
platform. However, in its early years, at the beginning of the nineteenth
century, the Democratic Party became known by the confusing name of
Democratic-Republican Party. Although this political party favored France in
the wars between Brittan and France, its hyphenated name indicates that the
core concepts defining the identity of political parties were fluctuating. Clear
to the members of the Democratic-Republican Party was what or whom they were
against: the Whigs, successors to the Federalists who advocated a strong
central government, a more relaxed interpretation of the Constitution, and a
republic run by a more professional educated class.

    Antonio José Martínez was born in 1793 as a
citizen of Spain in an America that that was still part of the Kingdom of Spain
until 1821. In the 1820s, the Democratic-Republican Party began to morph into
what would eventually become two distinct political parties–the Democratic and
Republican parties that we know today. The Federalist Party was no longer
around by the time Padre Martinez, together with many other native New Mexican
settlers, became U.S. citizens in the mid-nineteenth century at the time New
Mexico became a Territory of the United States in 1846.

  During his seminary days and young manhood, Antonio
José Martínez imbibed the principles of the Enlightenment.  He lived through and embraced Mexican
Independence, and became a fervent Mexican nationalist promoting principles of
freedom and democracy.  As a young priest
since 1829, Padre Martínez voiced his opposition to Mexican civil procedure
that in a theocracy (union of Church and state prevalent in Europe, and brought
to the new world through Spain) that levied taxes paying the salary of the
clergy. (Remnants of this practice still exist in parts of Europe, specifically
Germany where government tax money is used to support the clergy, either
Lutheran of Catholic according to the intent of the particular taxpayer.)  Within a few years, Padre Martinez as a
member of the Mexican legislature—and without opposition from his
bishop—was able to influence the Mexican government to abandon its policy of collecting
tithes from and for the Church.

  After 1830, the Democratic Party in the
United States had become a coalition of farmers, city dwelling laborers, and
Irish Catholics. The Cura de Taos
might have been attracted to such a political party that welcomed Irish Catholics, but most likely he would not
have favored unlawful expansion of settlers who squatted on land owned by him
or anyone else among his broadly extended family, or other New Mexican
long-time settler. He also would have initially opposed the Democrats’ embrace
of the War with Mexico, the expulsion of eastern American Indians, and the
acquisition of vast amounts of new land in the West. However, he most likely would
have been in deep sympathy with the Democratic Party’s opposition to anti-immigrant
nativists who held strongly negative views about all foreigners, or native-born
Catholics, Jews and Negroes.

  By the mid 1830s, a priest for more than a
decade, Padre Martínez had several times already been elected to political
office in order to represent the Departamento
de Nuevo Mexico
(analogous to a state) in the legislature of the Republic
of Mexico. Since his seminary days, he was an accomplished canon lawyer
familiar with civil laws of both Spain and Mexico.  By the 1840s, he was looking at American
Civil law, and in 1842 he formally requested from Governor Armijo permission to
practice law as a civil lawyer in order to help the poor. He received the
permission, and practiced law as a civil attorney.

  Padre Martínez explicitly and vociferously opposed
the process of Manifest Destiny, but after a process of mature deliberation,
his political thinking underwent a change. He decided that New Mexico would be
better off under the flag of the United States rather than that of the Mexican
Republic.  Soon after occupying New
Mexico in the name of the United States Government, General Stephen Watts
Kearney invited the Padre to Santa Fe in August 1846.  His biographer Santiago Valdez in 1877, a
decade after the Padre’s death, described the meeting:

General
Kearny invited all the prominent men of the Territory to visit him at the
capital, and Padre Martinez was tendered a special invitation…Padre Martinez, accompanied
by his brothers…left for Santa Fe, [and] during this visit, all three were sworn
in as American citizens.[2]

  Almost immediately after his return from
Santa Fe, in September 1846, Padre Martinez transformed into a law school the
preparatory seminary that, with the full permission and encouragement of his Bishop
Zubiría of Durango, he had begun at his home in Taos more than a decade prior. Sixteen
young men who had begun their preparatory education for the priesthood with
Padre Martínez were eventually ordained to serve as clergymen throughout New
Mexico. Padre Martínez, however, was now convinced that henceforth the attorney,
instead of the clergyman would be the one to “ride the burro”.[3]  The young men who studied at his law school
went on to become attorneys and politicians to influence the development of New
Mexico for years to come.

  General Kearny appointed Governor Donaciano
Vigil in early 1847 to succeed the assassinated Governor Charles Bent, and
Vigil selected Padre Martinez to preside over a Convention held in Santa Fe in
October 1847. One of the principal tasks of this convention was to facilitate
transition from a military government to one purely civil in character. The
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 formally concluded the U.S.-Mexican War.  As a consequence, the whole swath of land
north of Mexico that we call the American Southwest—including the vast territory
of New Mexico that at the time also included Arizona and sections of Utah,
Wyoming and Texas—transitioned from territory belonging to the Republic of
Mexico to territory under the government of the United States of America.

  Having as a legislator in the Assembly of the
Departamento de Nuevo Mexico (analogous to a “state”) of the Mexican
Republic, Padre Martinez was elected “Senator of the First Senatorial District
of Taos and Rio Arriba” and “embraced the Democratic or anti-slavery
party”.[4]  In Santa Fe on October 12, 1850, Padre
Martinez presided over the second General Convention of the New Mexico as a Territory
of the United States.  That assembly
requested the U.S. Congress abolish military rule and establish Civil
Government in New Mexico.

  By 1851, there was a third Convention of New
Mexico, a Territory of the United States no longer under Military Rule. In
preparation for elections, New Mexicans were choosing the political party to
which they wanted to belong as citizens of the United States.  However, the choices were still largely limited
to either the Democratic-Republican Party or the Whigs Party.  Although the national Democratic Party and
the Republican Party were each in their infancy, neither party was quite formed
in its present state nor yet very well known.  The question remained: what was the political
affiliation of Padre Martínez in the American period?

 Marta Weigle in Brothers of Light, Brothers of Blood, her classic treatment of the Penitentes (the New Mexican-southern
Colorado folk society whose members were known for their great devotion to the Passion
of Christ), hints that he may have been a Republican insofar as many of the moradas (gathering centers for Penitentes) seem to have also been
strongholds for the Republican Party. The Democratic National Committee (DNC)
came into existence in 1848, the year of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that
ratified the results of the U.S.-Mexican War. 
 By the 1860s, especially after
the Civil War, the Whigs would also fade away completely. The Republican Party,
conceived in 1850, took some years for party identity and loyalty to develop.  Within a decade, it became the “anti-slavery”
party in which Abraham Lincoln ran and won as its first presidential candidate.
 Padre Martínez admired his contemporary
Abraham Lincoln, but by the time Lincoln was elected President of the Country, Padre
Martínez was in decline on many levels; he was in ill health, and only a few
years from his own death in 1867. 
Furthermore, against the backdrop of the slavery issue, new issues, new
parties, and new rules were forcing a major re-alignment of political parties among
voters and politicians. While the Democrats survived the challenges, many
northern Democrats joined the newly established Republican Party. Was Padre
Martinez among them?

  The so-called “Democratic Party,” to which Santiago
Valdez, the biographer of Padre Martinez, claimed the Padre belonged, was more
accurately the Democratic-Republican Party that identified itself in opposition
to the Whigs. The issue of slavery helped bring political identity into focus.
Democrats and Whigs were divided on the issue of slavery. Democrats in
Congress, especially those of the so-called “solid south,” passed the hugely
controversial pro-slavery Compromise of 1850, while the Territorial Government
of New Mexico was taking shape.

  Under the leadership of Padre Martinez, New
Mexico—in opposition to the Democratic “solid South”—insisted New
Mexico be admitted into the Union as a Free State.  In state after state, the Democrats gained
small but permanent advantages over the Whig Party that finally collapsed in
1852.  Division over slavery and its
nativist leanings against immigrants and “foreigners,” especially those of
Jewish or Catholic heritage, had fatally weakened Democratic-Republican Party. Democratic
leader Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois–the future debate-rival of Abraham
Lincoln—pushed through the pro-slavery Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 that
repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820. According to the principle of
“popular sovereignty,” the Act opened the Midwest territories to slavery. In
reaction to this, anti-slavery activists and individuals conceived the
Republican Party in the early 1850’s, and the first official Republican meeting
took place in 1854. The name “Republican” was chosen because it
alluded to equality, and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson’s
Democratic-Republican Party. They believed that government should grant western
lands to settlers free of charge. In 1856, the Republicans became a national
party when John C. Fremont was nominated for President, and Abraham Lincoln four
years later became the first to win the White House as a member of the
Republican Party.

 Against the backdrop of the slavery issue, a
major re-alignment took place among voters and politicians, with new issues,
new parties, and new rules. While the Democrats survived, many northern
Democrats joined the newly established Republican Party. Was Padre Martinez
among them?
 I am not sure, and
invite your insight.  Respond on the
blog, or write directly to me at romerojuanrvi@aol.com.



[1] Santiago Valdez, Biografía del Presbítero Antonio José
Martínez, Cura de Taos
, 1877 unpublished manuscript in Ritch Collection at
Huntington Library (near Los Angeles). Fr. Juan Romero provided a contemporary English
version in 1993 that is yet unpublished, but available through NM State Archives,
Archives of Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and University of NM.

[2]
Ibid., p. 111.

[3]Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

MANUALITO DE PARROCOS: Bilingual Ritual




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MANUALITO DE PARROCOS

A
Spanish-Latin Ritual/Handbook Used by Priests For Administering Sacraments

 

The First
Book Printed in New Mexico

Published
1839 on the Press of

Padre Antonio
José Martínez, Cura de Taos

 

A Presentation for Recovering the Hispanic Literary
Heritage

 

by

Rev. Juan Romero

 

University of Texas, Houston

 

 

 

HISTORICAL AND
LITURGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

  The Manualito
de Párrocos
, [Handbook for Pastors], a bilingual (Latin-Spanish ritual), is
a small yet precious jewel that is little known or appreciated.  Published on the printing press of Padre
Antonio José Martínez, Cura de Taos, in 1839, is the first book published in
New Mexico, and a pioneer multi-lingual liturgical text of the Roman Catholic
Church available in what is now the Unted States.

By
the early 1830s, New Mexico was long overdue for the services of a printing
press, and Padre Martinez, with his interest in education and in political
involvement,  was a prime candidate for
ownership.  The press came in July of
1834, brought to Josiah Gregg, author of Commerce
of the Prairies
, and his partner Jesse Sutton on a wagon train from
Missouri.[1]

 Ramon Abreu bought the press from
Gregg-Sutton, put it under the charge of Jesus María Baca for the printing a
Santa Fe of a speller in 1834. Padre Martinez arrived in Taos as the
priest-in-charge by mid 1826.  He showed
his interest in primary education, and began an elementary school for boys and
girls. He prepared in 1834 the speller of twenty-two pages, Cuaderno de Ortografía, for publication
on the Abreu press, and dedicated to “Los
Niños de los Señores Martines de Taos
.”  The first booklet published in New Mexico, the
Cauderno, half the size of the Manualito, might not qualify as a book.
However, with its heft of fifty-five pages, the Manual de Párrocos definitely qualifies as a book.  The office of the
Archhives of the state of New Mexico considers, the bilingual ritual pepared by
Padre Martínez, even though printed five years after the speller, as the first book published in New Mexico.

  Padre Martínez purchased the printing press,
and took it to Taos by November 2, 1835. 
He hired as printer José Maria Baca, a native New Mexican, whom he had
met in Durango—perhaps a fellow seminarian not ordained to the priesthood. The
Padre used it for religious tracts, political broadsides, and a short-lived
newspaper, El Crepúsculo de Libertad.
After the Chimayó uprising of 1837, Padre Martinez in 1838 published his
autobiography, Relación de Los Méritos
del Presbítero Antonio José Martínez, Cura de Taos
. 

  The followng year in
1839, Padre Martínez published the Manualito de Párrocos for use in “Nuevo Mexico” by priests serving in
various parts of La (Custodia de) Nuevo
Mexico
that was at least three times larger than its present day
configuration. The cover of the book stated, “Imprenta del Presbítero Antonio Jose Martinez a cargo de J. M. Baca,”[2]
under the charge of Jesús María Baca.

  Bishop Zubiría of Durango during his first
visit to Taos in 1833 gave Padre Martínez to prepare from his residence in Taos
young men in their earliest stages of formation for the priesthood.  They would then go to Durango for their
theological formation where Padre Marteinez had done his studies, and
afterwards return as priests to serve the people of northern New Mexico.

  The Manualito
was a practical handbook or “manual” for the young men trained at his
seminary in Taos to use in their spiritual ministrations.  More seasoned priests also used the ritual
for administering the most common sacraments to the Catholic people in the
priest-starved  regions of the northern
frontier of the Mexican diocese of Durango while the territory was part of the
Republic of Mexico. The Manualito de
Párrocos
was a “handbook for pastors” to be used in the
celebration of the sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony as well as the sacrament
of the Anointing of the Sick.[3]
The Handbook also contained the rite for funerals and some common blessings.

  As a young boy, I recall the multilingual twentieth-century
ritual for the sacraments of baptism and marriage, as well as funeral rite,
that was in the sacristy of my parish about five miles northeast of central
city Los Angeles.  The Irish already
spoke and understood English, but other diverse languages in the ritual—Polish,
Italian, and German—reflected and enshrined the cultures of various waves of
immigrants that flooded the shores of this large country during the nineteenth
century. In the same way as in the Manualito,
rubrics (directions and instructions for the priest) were in English, but the
words of the sacrament to be administered or the blessing given remained in
Latin. 

  It was not until the mid 20th
century that liturgical reform admitted vernacular in the liturgy—slowly at
first with the renewed Easter Vigil in the mid 1950s. The Second Vatican
Council of the mid 1960s permitted and encouraged use of the vernacular, although
Latin remained the official language of the universal Church.

  While only the rubrics[4]
were in Spanish, the actual words of the celebration of a sacrament remained in
Latin, the official language of the church. 
Nevertheless, this was a practical help for clergy perhaps not that
conversant with Latin.  The publication
of this bilingual Latin-Spanish ritual was ahead of its time by over a century.  Only since the early 1970s have pastoral
centers such as the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonion, now
called the Mexican American Catholic College, begun preparing and publishing
blingual texts for use in liturgy and Catholic ceremonies.   

  There are few extant copies of the New
Mexican bilingual riual published by Padre Martínez.  The Archives of the State of New Mexico has
one found in its collection of the Benjamin M. Read papers. The Huntington
Library in San Marino (near Los Angeles) has a quite brittle and delicate copy
of the Manualito within the William
Ritch Papers and Manuscripts of its Rare Book and Manuscript Collection.  Yale University, a treasure trove of works
written or published by Padre Martínez, has a copy of the Manualito de Párrocos.  The heirs
of Pascual Martínez, youngest brother of the Padre, owned a copy of the Manualito in excellent condition, but
now sold to a private party.

  Secretary of the legislature Ramón Abreu at
Santa Fe by August 1834 obtained the press from Gregg, and soon announced the
opening of the press as well as the newspaper El Crepúsculo de la Libertad. 
Mexican lawyer Antonio Barreiero edited the publication that was “a
campaign device to facilitate his election to the Mexican Congress. Padre
Martinez soon became associated with the publishing effort.”[5]  The Padre’s newspaper El Crepúsculo de La Libertad was short-lived—only six issues were
published, and none are extant. 

  One of the more prominent uses of the Padre
Martinez printing press was for the publication of the Kearny Code after Gen.
Stephen Watts Kearny occupied Santa Fe in August 1846.  “According to Lucian J. Eastin, a soldier
under who later used the press in Sana Fe to print the laws of a newly
established American government, the wood and iron hand press was less than
impressive.  He identified the machine as
a Ramage press and dismissed it as ‘a very small affair.’”[6]

 Padre Martinez published works for his
parishioners, the educational institutions he founded.  His elementary school founded in 1826 did not
benefit from the printing press.  The
students used as writing tablets and blackboards slates transported from St.
Louis on the Santa Fe/ Durango Trail. 
However, the other two seminal institutions that he founded—seminary and
law school– benefited very much from the printing press, as eventually did all
the people of New Mexico through his students in their maturity.  Padre Martinez established his pre-theology
seminary at his home in 1833, and it was succeeded by his law school in the
early fall after late summer’s American occupation of 1846.

  Although Padre Martínez did not yet own the
printing press at the time the speller was published, Cuaderno de Ortografía de la
Lengua Castelllana
, he can rightly be credited as author. Publications of
Padre Martinez catalogued in the NM State Archives include the following:

• In 1837, he
wrote his autobiography shortly after the Chimayó Uprising of the same year,
but did not publish it (on his own press) until the following year of 1838: Relación de Méritos del Presbítero Antonio
José Martinez, Cura de Taos
.

 In 1839, Padre Martinez published two more
books on his press: one was a tract on Political
Discourses On the Important and Necessary
.

• The other was
the Manualito de Parrocos (1839) that
is the focus of this presentation. 

• Within half a
dozen years after Santa Ana’s battles with Texans at the Alamo and San Jacinto,
Padre Martinez reacted against the thrust of Manifest Destiny.  Since 1842, he had written letters to his
president Santa Ana and Bishop Laureano Zubiría of Durango warning his
President (Santa Ana) and his Bishop (Zubiria) that the Americans were coming,
and would bring their Protestant influence.[7]
The following year in 1843, Padre Martinez sent them a copy of a tract he published
as Exponsicion Que…[sic].[8]

• At the request
of the General Stephen Watts Kearny who occupied Santa Fe in the name of the
United States on August 18, 1846, Padre Martinez lent his press for the
publication of the Kearny Code, one
of the most important works published on the Padre Martinez Press.

• Yale
University, a treasure trove of works written or published by Padre Martinez, has
a copy of the Padre’s published Spanish translation of Leyes de Las Indias that he used for both his seminarians and then
his law students.

TEXT

  The copy of the text I am using for this
presentation was made was made available to me through the kindness of the
offices of the State Archives of New Mexico.[9]  The text consists of 55 pages.  The first three are not indicated pages, but
the subsequent ones are paginated from 1 to 52. 
The first two un-paginated pages are mostly in Spanish.  The first is the cover page, and the second
consists of a printed preliminary note by the publisher and a handwritten note
by the donor to the NM Historical Society. 
The highlight of the second page is the Index of the work, and the
beginning of a blessing in Latin for St. Ignatius Water.

  Publisher Padre Martinez begins with a
preliminary printed “Nota” in Spanish
that speaks of publication without copyright. 
My translation follows:

When
permission for printing this handbook could not be obtained from diocesan
authority, since copyright laws were in force, there was not any change in the
method [of publication].  On the
contrary, it was faithfully copied in accord with what was put down in the
Handbook of [Padre Juan Francisco] Lopez from which this was taken.  The only exception is in the rubrics [that
are in Spanish instead of Latin], and in the administration of Holy Viaticum
that was taken from the Manual at the Taos Rectory by Rev. Father Diego
Ossorio.

  This printed note is followed by another
short handwritten note in Spanish from Benjamin M. Read[10]
that he or someone like his younger brother Larkin, who had excellent
penmanship, inscribed forty-one years after General S.W. Kearny occupied Santa
Fe, claiming New Mexico as a territory of the United States.  My translation reads as follows: “Presented
by Benjamin M. Read- Santa Fe, NM to the Historical Society of NM.  Sept. 6 – 1887.”

SACRAMENTAL
THEOLOGY

  The spiritual life of Catholics is closely
related to the sacraments.  These are the
visible signs through which—Catholics believe–Jesus Christ powerfully acts for
the salvation of believers.  The
principal sacraments are Baptism and Holy Eucharist, and others are Penance,
Marriage and Anointing of the Sick.  The
sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders are restricted in their
administration to the bishop, unless a priest is given a special delegation to
confirm.  These later two sacraments are
normally administered by a bishop, and so are not included in the handbook for
parish priests published by Padre Martinez. 
Also not included in the Manualito
are Eucharist as Sacrifice (the Mass) and Peance, although Holy Communion for
the sick and a penitential blessing for the sick are included.  This ritual contains the official rites and
prayers in Latin for the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, and Anointing of the
Sick, as well as funeral and burial rites.

PERSONAL
SIGNIFICANCE

  In 1993, I was doing research on Padre
Martinez at the New Mexico State Archives in Santa Fe, and was handed the Manualito de Parrocos to peruse.  At the time, I was residing at the
Benedictine Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Abiquiu, the birthplace of
Padre Martinez.  One of my great
interests and passions both as a seminarian and as a parish priest has been the
study of and proper celebration of the “sacred mysteries,” the sacred liturgy,
and ministering the sacraments of Christ to God’s people.  Perusing the Manualito of Padre Martinez became a holy experience for me–
touching and reading the Latin-Spanish text of this bilingual ritual put
together by the priest of Taos.  He had
lived a short stone’s throw from the house on Ledoux Street in the center of Taos
that my grandfather and father had built of adobe.  My experience paralleled that of Michael
Olivas—a former seminarian and lawyer from Santa Fe, and professor at the
University of Houston—as he encountered at the Library of Yale University two
books published by Padre Martinez on his press.

…what
really moved me to tears was holding copies of two books[11]
printed by the Martinez press…  The first
was…a book on Logic [1841]…  The second
work [on Law, published in 1842] was even more evocative to me…  These glorious documents produced so many
emotions in me that I sat for some time simply trying to process all the
complex and unexpected feelings welling up inside me: having familiarized
myself with the works enough that I could recognize the typesetters reminded me
of my early graduate work…  I felt a
distinct pride in being able to translate Latin and Spanish documents…being a
native of New Mexico even allowed me to recognize…[certain details that would
otherwise be lost to others]…  I recalled
my…years of seminary training…completing a century-and-a-half  long arc from Padre Martinez’s discipulos to me.[12]

IMPORTANCE

  I requested from St. John’s University in
Collegeville,  Minnesota–one of the
premier institutions of liturgical studies in the United States–a list of
bilingual-multilingual rituals ever used for Catholic worship in the this
country.  To my great surprise, I learned
there was no such list available, even after consulting the “largest data base
in the world”[13] regarding
liturgical studies.  Padre Martinez in
his Manualito de Parrocos of 1839
made significant strides in producing a bilingual ritual almost a century and a
half before this became pastoral practice in the United States, a
multilingual-multicultural country.  This
ratifies what Rev. Msgr. Jerome Martinez, rector of the Cathedral-Basilica of
Santa Fe said about Padre Martinez:  “He
was way ahead of his time!”[14]

  El
Instituto de Liturgia Hispana
together
with the Mexican American Cultural Center based in San Antonio deserve credit
for picking up the ball and running with it.[15].
There are several pioneers of pastoral-liturgical bilingual ministry since the
1970s to the beginning of the third Christian millennium who—without even being
aware of it– are following in the footsteps of Padre Martinez relative to the
promotion of pastoral-liturgical service to the Spanish-speaking People of
God.  

 Certain
official and quasi-official publications are, in this regard, especially worthy
of note:

Pastoral
Care of the Sick + Cuidado Pastoral de Los Enfermos
– Abridged Bilingual
Edition.  It was “canonically approved by
the National Conference of Catholic bishops in plenary assembly on 18 November
1982, and was subsequently confirmed by the Apostolic See by decree of the
Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship on 11 December
1982.  On 1 September, 1982, the work was
given permission to be published and used in celebrations for the sick and
dying.” The mandatory effective date set by the Conference of Bishops was the
first Sunday of Advent, November 27, 1983. 
[From a Decree of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the
united States of America,  jointly signed
by Archbishop John Roach, President of NCCB and Rev. Daniel F. Hoye its General
Secretary]   Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, CSB
of Las Cruces navigated the bilingual ritual through the labyrinth of the
Episcopal Conference, and provided its Foreword.  The text was made available, i.e. published
jointly by the Mexican American Cultural Center of San Antonio and Liturgy
Training Publications of Chicago.  Rev.
John Gurrierei, Executive Director of the Bishops’ Committe on the Liturgy,
provided the acknowledgements and assured users that proper permissions from
various sources were properly obtained.

QUINCEANERA:
Celebration of Life/ Celebración de la
Vida – Guidebook for the Presider of the Religious Rite
– was publisted by
MACC in 1999.  The Quinceaños is a rite of passage for a girl of 15 to young
womanhood.  Although it is not a
sacrament as such, it is a holy time of transition for which Mexican and Latin
American tradition accompany special blessings for the liminal time of new
challenges/dangers as well as new opportunities.  There are also prayers invoking Mary as model
and guide.  There is no official rite for
the occacion, but MACC—under the leadership of Sister Rosa María Icaza,
C.C.V.I. and Sister Angela Erevia, M.C.D.P. led a working group to produce this
perfectly bilingual Spanish-English ritual on 73 parallel pages[16]
as a gift to the Church in the United states.

• The Order of Christian Funerals is a
much more formal and sophisticated liturgical bilingual text officially
published by THE LITURGICAL PRESS of Collegeville, Minnesota in 2002: ORDER OF
CHRISTIAN FUNERALS – Vigil, Funeral Liturgy, and Rite of Committal:
APPROVED FOR SE IN THE
DIOCESES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF
CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND CONFIRMED BY THE APOSTOLIC SEE

THEOLOGICAL
APPRECIATION

  A
short course in Catholic sacramental theology will help the reader of this presentation
to appreciate the richness and significance of Padre Martinez’ bilingual ritual
published in 1839 within what is now the United States. 

Sacraments
are Signs

  Sacraments
are visible signs that are efficacious of God’s saving grace.  Jesus, according to some mid- twentieth
century theologians is the fundamental, basic and primary sign of God’s saving
love.  Through His becoming man, He made
the eternal love of the Father accessible, visible and tangible.  The community of faith, called the church, is
also a sign of God’s saving presence in a world wherein faithful men and women
strive to respond to God’s call to holiness and fidelity to His covenant.  The Council of Trent, however,  in the mid-sixteenth century–in reaction to
the Protestant Reformation that wanted to restrict the sacraments to Baptism
and Eucharist–defined that there are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation
Holy Eucharist, Penance, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick.

Things,
Actions (Gestures), and Words

  Material (earthly) things (“matter”), e.g. water, oil, bread, wine,
etc. are very important aspects of a sacramental sign.  Symbolic gestures
(actions)
enhance the sign value in the celebration (administration of) a
sacrament.  These gestures are also an
important part of the sacramental sign, e.g. the IMMERSION into or POURING of
water in the sacrament of Baptism, the bishop’s LAYING OF HANDS upon the head
of a priest being ordained, the ANOINTING of the body of a sick person for
spiritual health—and also for physical health, if that be God’s will.  However, that which specifies the meaning of
the sacramental gestures and actions are the words used (“form” or formula) in their celebration/administration.   For instance, in the sacrament of Baptism,
the priest immerses into water or pours water over the person being baptized
while using the Trinitarian formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” 
This sacrament, as all of them, uses words, gestures (action), and material
elements.   There are many other signs
and symbols (anointing with chrism, clothing with white garment, handing over
of candle lit from the paschal candle) that enhance the rite of Baptism, but
the prescribed matter (water) and form (words and gesture) are considered
essential.  Each of the sacraments have
their essential matter and form that make up the rite.

Effective
(efficacious) Signs

  The sacraments are effective signs because
they are the words, gestures and actions of Jesus who powerfully brings about
what the deeper meaning of the sacrament actually signifies.  For instance, when an infant, child or adult
is baptized, that person intimately and truly shares in Jesus’ paschal dying
and rising.  What makes the sacraments
truly efficacious is the fact—in Catholic belief—that these special signs are
actually vehicles through which Jesus Christ powerfully acts for our
salvation.  These are His words, and His
gestures, and that is why they bring about what they signify or symbolize.  That is to say that when Father Juan,
Cardinal Roger or Pope Benedict baptizes Joe or Jane Blow, it is really Jesus
Christ who acts in and through those sacramental signs that brings to life and
makes happen the deeper meaning of what is signified.  In Baptism, the significance of the rite is a
participation in Christ’s Passover from death to life.  In Eucharist, this is sharing in and being
nourished by Jesus’ own body and blood. 
In Penance, when the priest in the name of the Blessed Trinity says “I
absolve you,” Catholics believe that it really Jesus Christ who forgives the
sins of a penitent who is truly sorry for sins, confesses them, and
resolves—with God’s help—to sin no more. 
When the priest at Mass says over the elements of bread and wine the
words of blessing that Jesus used at the Last Supper, “This is my body… this is
my blood.  Do this in memory of me,”
Catholics believe that the elements are changed into the body and blood of
Jesus.  This is not magic—hocus pocus, a corruption of the words
of Consecration, “Hoc est enim corpus
meum
…”—but the effective action of Jesus through the sacraments.

Minister
of the Sacrament

  In God’s loving kindness, the efficacy of the
sacrament does not depend on the holiness of the minister.  This is because the sacraments are saving
actions of Jesus made present and available today in and through His
Church.  The ordinary minister of a
sacrament is the ordained priest. 
However, a layperson may serve as extraordinary minister of the
sacrament in case of an “emergency” such as danger of death for an infant. In
the sacrament of matrimony, the ministers of the sacrament to each other are
the bride and groom; the priest—together with best man and maid of honor—are
witnesses for the church in this covenant relationship that echoes the unity of
love between Christ and His church.  A
couple of the sacraments, such as Confirmation and Holy Orders (ordination to
diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy) are reserved to the administration of a
bishop.  However,  faculties to confirm may sometimes be
delegated to a priest.  Bishop Zubiría
delegated this episcopal faculty to Padre Martinez.

  Missing from this Manualito de Parrocos are the sacraments reserved to a bishop,
i.e., Confirmation and Holy Orders.  The
formula for the sacrament of Penance is brief, and easily committed to memory
by a father confessor.  The rite of
celebration of the action of the Mass is traditionally contained in other
books—a Lectionary containing the scripture readings, and the Sacramentary
containing various Eucharistic Prayers. 
During the time of Padre Martinez—in fact, since the Council of Trent
until the Second Vatican Council, these books were combined into the Roman
Missal, but they are once again separate volumes. 

 

SACRAMENTALS

  In
addition to the sacraments as such, there are some “sacramentals” useful in
fostering the devotion of the people, but are not part of the sacred liturgy,
the official prayer of the church. Included in this handbook, making it also a
“book of blessings,” are other prayers for certain occasion or of particular
objects used in (Hispanic) Catholic devotion. 
The various blessings included are the blessing of Holy Water for
sprinkling, and blessing of the Baptismal Font, and the blessings of crucifixes,
images of saints, a habit or scapular.  A
“habit” or “scapular” is a particular uniform or style of dress particular to a
religious order, but may also be worn by a lay associate of that order, such as
Franciscan or Carmelite “tertiary.”  When
he or she promises to live his/her state of life as closely as possible in
conformity with the ideals of the chosen religious order, a layperson may
become a member of their Third Order.  It
is called such because it follows the pattern of consecration after clergy and
religiously professed man or woman who solemnly take the three evangelical vows
of poverty, chastity and obedience. 

  Blessings serve as a kind of bookends for the
Manualito, they form a parenthesis
embracing the ritual-book of blessings and binding it with the literary device
known as inclusio, the beginning
announcing the ending that reflects it in paralel construction.  The blessing of St. Ignatius Water begins the
Book of Blessings/Ritual even before the pages begin to count, and the Blessing
of the Franciscan Cord end the book of 52 pages.

Bendición de Mortajas” is the final item
listed in the index is also the most unfamiliar item mentioned in the index of
the handbook/book of blessings.  The
blessing is for the “cords of St. Francis” that a lay person may wear, and in
the prayer the priest asks for the grace of a happy death of the persons
clothed with that cord that has three overhand knots tied closely together
toward the end of the religious rope. 
They are symbols of the evangelical virtues of Poverty, Chastity, and
obedience.

  What is contained in the Manualito is outlined in its index, and my translation from the
Spanish follows:

INDEX

Baptism of
Children                                                     1

Induglence at
the Moment[17] of Dying                          7

Concerning Holy
Viaticum for the Sick                        8

Concerning
Extreme Unction

[Anointing
of the Sick]                                   13

Burial of Adults                                                          18

Burial of
Children                                                       23

The Sacrament of
Matrimony                                                28

The second Banns                                                       33

The Blessing of
Water for Sprinkling                         34

Gospel Readings
for Proclaiming to the Sick              38

Blessing of the
Baptismal Font                                  45

Blessing of
Crosses                                                     49

Blessing of
Images                                                      50

Blessing of a
Habit or Scapular                                   51

Blessing of
[Franciscan] Cords (Mortajas)                 52

The rite of Blessing of the Water of St. Ignatius serves as
an introduction to the ritual/book of blessings.  It reflects Jesuit influence that, although
it did not predominate, was still important in the missionary territories of
America.  Padre Martinez was taught by
Jesuits in his Durango seminary.  This is
not a sacrament, but is associated to the Handbook as a Blessing.  [My translation from the Spanish]

Here is placed the blessing of the Water
of St. Ignatius.  A medal of the same
saint is to be immersed [in the water] from the beginning until the end of the
blessing.  It is used as a potion for the
sick, and to assuage storms.

[My translation
from the Latin]

            V[erse].                       Our help, etc. [is in the name of the Lord].

            [Response.                  Who made heaven and earth.]

            V.                                Blessed
be the name of the Lord.

            R.                                Now
[and forever.]

            V.                                O
Lord, hear, etc. [my prayer

            R.                                And
let my cry come unto you.]

V.                                                
The
Lord be with you.

R.                                And also with
you.

LET US PRAY

Holy Lord, almighty and eternal Father…

BAPTISM

  The actual text of the celebration of the
sacrament of Baptism (pp. 1-8) does not differ from the official Latin text of
the Roman Rite in usage during the time of Padre Martinez.  There have been minor modifications and
adaptations of the rites since the Second Vatican Council, but exploring those
are out of the purview of this essay.

FOR THE DYING
AND SICK

The Final Blessing in Latin (pp. 7-8) is to be given only “in articulo mortis,” i.e., when on is at
the point of death’s last stages.  It is
distinct from the less grave situation of “in
periculo moris
,” that translates to “in danger of death.”

Holy Viaticum 
(pp. 8-13) is another name for the Holy Eucharist given to someone
who  is quite ill—“in danger of death,”
but without necessarily being at death’s door. The word Viaticum is a
combination of the Latin words “via tecum
which means “On the way with you.”  We
are a “pilgrim people” on the way to the heavenly Jerusalem, led by our elder
brother Jesus Christ whose mission is to guide and help us enter the loving
arms of Our Heavenly Father.  The Holy
Eucharist nourishes and strengthens our baptismal life, and as Holy Viaticum,
it is the final accompaniment of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ into our
heavenly home. 

  Before the Second Vatican Council in the
mid-twentieth century, this sacrament used to be called called Extreme Unction.
 Its administration for a person quite
sick, in conjunction with the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist,  was referred to as “Last Rites”.

  The time of crossing over from this world to
the next is a most important passage.  It
is an especially poignant and pastorally sensitive moment for the person dying,
as well as for family members and friends who accompany the person to death’s
door to usher him through the passage to glory. 
As if to respect that passage to heavenly glory, part of the rite of Holy Viaticum for the sick is given
partially in Spanish.  None of the rite
is repeated nor paraphrased; different parts are selected to remain in Latin
while other parts are put only into Spanish. 
This includes the affirmation “
creo
” in answer to twelve questions that the infirm person is invited to
affirm in the rite of renewal  of the
creed,  together with renewal of baptism
commitments to reject sin and Satan.  The
sick person is then invited to reconcile himself to anyone he may have injured
by pardoning and asking for pardon.

  The traditional formula before Holy Communion
follows.  It is said in Latin three
times, “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof.  Say but the word, and I will be healed.”[18]
The priest gives Viaticum (Holy Communion) to the gravely ill person while
using the Latin formula that I translate: 
“Receive, brother [or sister], Viaticum of the body [and blood] of Our
Lord Jesus Christ who guards you from the malignant enemy and leads you to
eternal life.”  The response is
“Amen.”  (p. 12)

The Way of Administering Extreme Unction  (pp. 13-18)

  This sacrament is celebrated all in
Latin.  It is now called Anointing of the
Sick, no longer the “last anointing.” 
Because it was too closely associated with death and dying, family
members were often reluctant to call the priest in spite of the exhortation in
James 5:14: “Are there any among you who are sick?  Let them call the priests of the church to
anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 
And if he be in sin, they will be forgiven him…” Post Vatican II, the
sacrament is celebrated much more liberally, no longer restricted to persons
seriously ill.  In fact, elderly persons
who are in good enough health are encouraged to celebrate the sacrament on a
timely basis, maybe yearly.  It principal
effect—Jesus acting through this sacrament as he does through all of them—is
SPIRITUAL healing, and if it be God’s will—then physical healing as well.  The anointing of the five senses is
preserved, whereas in the revised rite of Vatican II, only the forehead and palms
of the hands are anointed.

The Form of Burying Adults (pp. 18-23)

  This rite is all in Latin, and begins at the
home of the deceased with the priest’s sprinkling three times the body of the
deceased with Holy Water, while reciting Psalm 129 [130][19]
in Latin—De Profundis:  “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord….”
The psalm is ultimately one of hope. 
“…My spirit has hoped in the Lord…let Israel hope in the Lord…and He
will redeem Israel from all its iniquities…”

The Burial of Children (pp. 23-28)

  The language of this rite is Latin except for
the Greek litany Kyrie, Criste, Kyrie
eleison
…Lord/Christ have mercy!  The
mood of this rite is not somber, but upbeat and even light.  The procession from home to church includes
the Our Father and the Psalm 148: “Young people, and virgins, and old men with
younger, praise the Lord from the heavens.” 
The beautiful song of the Three Young men in the fiery furnace is the
key scripture of this service.  This
prayer gives voice to all of creation to praise the Lord: Benidicite!  Praise the Lord!

THE SACRAMENT OF
MATRIMONY (pp. 28-33)

  As a canon lawyer, Padre Martinez was quite
meticulous pertaining to what constituted a valid marriage.  In the introductory exhortation to the
contracting spouses, the rite outlines in Spanish impediments to
contracting marriage: “consanguinity, affinity or spiritual bond or public
continence [honestidad]…previous
bonds (of matrimony) or religious vows.

  By the free response to the key question
proposed first to the bride and then the groom, they become spouses, mutually
expressing their free consent in Spanish before the witnesses—priest and padrinos.

Sac(erdote): Señora/Señor N., ¿quiere al
Señor N. por su legitimo esposo, y marido, por palabras de presente, como lo
manda la Santa, Catolica y apostolica Iglesia Romana?…

R. Si quiero.

¿Se otorga por su esposa y muger [sic]?

R. Sí otorgo.

Sac. ¿Recibelo [sic] por su esposo y marido?

R. Si recibo.

Nuptial Blessing - (De Las Segundas
Nuptias
)

  The rubric in Spanish indicates that the
priest imparts this blessing after Mass while the spouses are kneeling before
the altar.  The brief prayer recalls the
nuptial blessing that Yahweh conferred upon Sarah and Tobias to whom  the Angel Raphael was sent to help find a
wife.

THE BLESSING OF
HOLY WATER (pp. 34-37)

  This sacramental is a reminder of the sacred
waters of baptism through which we first pass over with Jesus from death to
life.  It is used for sprinkling and
purifications as well as for blessings of oneself or others.  Part of the rite includes an exorcism using
salt as an instrument of purification. 
Salt is also considered a symbol of welcome, as when a traveler arriving
into a home was offered salt to replenish the salt in the body lost through
perspiration.  It is also considered as
an agent of preservation before refrigeration. 
Salt, however, in modern times is no longer used in the blessing of holy
Water nor in the rite of Baptism.

GOSPELS TO BE
PROCLAIMED TO THE SICK

  This compendium of scripture readings is used
to spiritually comfort the sick.  The
texts are in Latin, but it is supposed that the priest would pastorally comment
upon the selection for the benefit of the infirm person as well as the family
gathered.  The scriptures include
selections from the following Gospels: Matthew 8, Mark 16, Luke 4, John 5.

After
the reading is proclaimed and commented upon, the priest is directed to impose
hands—a liturgical gesture utilized in the celebration of every sacrament.

[Rubric in Spanish] Acabada la ultima Oración, ponga el Sacerdote
la diestra sobre la cabeza del enfermo, y diga,

 

[My translation from
the Latin]  They imposed their hands upon
the sick, and the got well.  Jesus son of
Mary, may the Lord and health of the world be with you through the merits and
intercession of His Apostles Peter and Paul and all the saints.  [The prologue of St. John’s Gospel follows.]

Blessing of a Baptismal
Font and Exorcism of the Water
(pp. 45-49)

  The prayers are in Latin.  The Holy Oil of Chrism and the Holy Oil of
Catecumens –both used in the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism– are
used in this blessing of water.  These
holy oils were customarily used for the solemn blessing of baptismal water  at the Easter Vigil Service, but are no
longer used.

• Blessing of a New Cross (Crucifix) (p. 49)

• Blessing of Images (pp. 50, 51)

• Blessing of Anything (p. 51)

• Blessing of the Franciscan Cord (pl 52)

 

[End of selections from Ritual]

* * * * *

  The publication of the Manualito corresponded to an obvious
spiritual need of a deeply religous people living in northern New Mexico that
was the northern extremity of the Kingdom of Spain from 1598 until 1821.  It included Arizona and Colorado as well as
parts of Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.  Under
the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the immense land mass, wrested from the
northern Republic of Mexico, became territories of the United States now
collectively know as the “Southwest.”  Priests working in these far-flug outposts
broung spiritual comfort and blessings through the sacraments to Spanish-speaking
people throughout New Mexico and beyond. 
The Handbook for Pastors that
Padre Martínez of Taos prepared and published on his press had a great
spiritual impact of the people for many years, and its impact has continued
within the religious faith of the people until today. 

           



[1]
Pamela S. Smith, Pam Smith with Richard Polese, “The Church and the Press:
Nineteenth-Century Beginnings,” in Passion
in Print: Private Press Artistry in New Mexico – 1834 to Present
, Museum of
New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, 2005, pp. 223, p. 19.

 

A brief
treatment on the Manualito de Párrocos
that I wrote is available on website http://dev.newmexicohistory.org/filedetails.php?fileID=23181
of the New Mexico Office of the State Historian. The fuller development of the
topic and virtual-book that used to be on-line, however, are no longer
accessible on the site.  

 

[2]
Cf. Henry R. Wagner, New Mexico
Historical Review, Vol. XII, No. 1.  This
resource was graciously brought to my attention by Pam Smith of Abiquiu.  She is author of Passion in Print (above), and former
director of the Press of the Palace of the Governors, Museum of New
Mexico.  She serves as an adjunct professor
and faculty member of the College of Santa Fe where she teaches classes in the
book arts.

 

 

[4]  In an official liturgical book of the
Catholic Church, directions for the priest are printed in RED.  The Latin word for the color is ruber from which we get the word
“rubrics” giving directions for the gestures or actions the priest is to use
while saying the appropriate words and using the apt materials for the
administration of a particular sacrament or in an other liturgical clebartion.

[5]
Ibid.

[6]
Smith, op. cit., p. 19.

[7]
Valdez, op. cit., p. __.

[8]
In this work, Padre Martinez gave his assessment of the political and religious
situation of New Mexico and its inhabitants—both the Native Americans and
Spanish settlers before the arrival of the Anglo Americans.

[9]
I have seriously tried to obtain a copy of Manualito
since July of this year, but it found it very difficult.  I finally obtained a copy at the place where
I began the search last July.  I am
sincerely grateful to NM Historian Estevan Rael-Galvez,  his associate Dennis Trujillo, and archivist
Melissa Sanchez as well as senior archivist and Sandra Jaramillo for having
staff people take another look and finally unearthing the document in the
Benjamin Read Collection.

[10]
Benjamin Maurice Read is the author of Illustrated
History of New Mexico
published in 1912, the year of New Mexican
statehood.  He is, in New Mexican
parlance a “coyote,” i.e. the child
of one parent who is Hispanic and the other Anglo.  His mother Ignacia Cano from Spain, and her
family migrated to NM.  His father,
Benjamin Franklin Read, was US-Mexican War soldier, and is purported related to
THE Benjamin Franklin through one on his wives whose last name was Read. Larkin
was the younger brother of Benjamin Maurice, and he married a niece of Padre
Martinez.  Through her, Larkin and his
older brother  Benjamin had easy access
to many of the Padre Martinez papers. 
Santiago Valdez,  a putative son
of Padre Martinez, solicited the help of the Read brothers to finalize his
biography of Padre Martinez completed in 1877, a decade after the death of the
Padre. Benjamin M. is a bilingual-bicultural pioneer historian of NM and
contemporary of fellow historian Twitchell. 
Because of B.M. Read’s cultural heritage, he was able to write with a
distinct perspective inaccessible to non-native Spanish speakers.  Read was an early member and benefactor of
the NM Historical society.  NM Secretary
of State William Ritch was president of the group, and became a benefactor of
the Huntington Library’s Ritch Collection that houses the Valdez Biography of
Padre Martinez in San Marino, California.

[11]
Algunos Puntos de Logica (1841) for
beginning the study of philosophy, and Institucionesde
Derechdo real de Castilla y de Indias
(1842) for use in the study of canon
law.

[12]
Michael A. Olivas, “Reflections Upon Old Books, Reading Rooms, and Making
History,” University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law – LAW REVIEW, Vol.
76, Sring 2008, No. 3, pp. 817-18.

[13]
Telephone conversation on September __, 2008 with Sister ______, in charge of
library research at the Universty of St. John’s, Collegeville.

[14]
Interview with Father Jerome Martinez for the film documentary The Dawning of Liberty by Paul Espinosa
of Espinosa Productions.  Filmed c. 2004,
not yet fully produced or released.

 

[15]
Particular people who deserve credit are retired Archbishop Patricio Flores of
San Antonio for his wonderful support of MACC and its efforts of
pastoral-liturgical contributions for the Spanish-speaking of this
country.  Also deserving special credit
are Rev. Virgil Elizondo, founding President of MACC, and Bishop Ricardo
Ramriez who succeed him in that post, and now serves as the Bishop of Las
Cruces New Mexico.  Sister Rosa María
Icasa, also of MACC, did much work in preparing and directing the preparation
of liturgical texts.  Sister Angel
Erevia  did much early work for MACC in
developing the ritual for the Qunice Años
Celebration. 

  Father Juan
Sosa of the Archdiocese of Miami is the founding President of the Instituto de
Liturgia Hispana that served as an engine to get some of the liturgical texts
approved and accepted for publication.

[16]
Although the document/ritual for Quinceaños
has 73, pages, there are footnot references to pages74-80.  It’s a puzzlement!  On p. xv (Romal numeral of the introduction),
there is footnote 21 that says “See Romero, 74-80.”  Footnote #22 indicaes “Romero, 75.”  The puzzlement is that my brother wrote a
book on Hispanic Devotional Piety, published by Orbis Press in which he treated
from a biblical perspective Quinceaños
and other forms of popular piety.  I
authored a monograph on Faith Expressions of Hispanics in the Southwest that
somewhat treats the Quinceaños along with several other “faith expressions.”  I also wrote a fifteen-page essay on
Quinceaños on the topic of Quinceaños from anthropological, sociological,
catechetical  and liturgical
perspectives.  To which Romero does the
footnote refer?  Stay tuned!

[17]
In periculo mortis means in danger of
death, and is to be distinguished from in
articulo mortis
and refers to the fact that one clearly seems to be very
near death, or in the act of/at the moment of dying.

[18]
The official English translation in the United States for the phrase “…et sanabitur anima mea…” over the past forty plus years has been
“…and I will be healed.”  Its
biblical-liturgical language reflects the inseparability of personhood.  It is in contrast to Greek philosophical
categories of “body/soul” that in concept and language seems to
compartmentalize and dichotomize the integrity of the human person.  The word 
“soul” could be legitimately understood as “whole person,” as when we
say that Joe Blow is a “good soul.” 
However, in normal speech, it is usually used in contrast to body,
although to complement and inform it. 
The better translation of the Latin sanibitur
is, I think, “…and I shall be healed.” 
Nevertheless, in this country and other English-speaking countries, we
will soon be going “back to the future,” reprising the hylomorphic category of
body/soul compartmental-ization  instead
of emphasizing the integrity of personhood.

[19]
The enumeration of the Book of Psalms is off by one after one of the early
psalms (9?).  St. Jerome in translating
the scriptures from Hebrew to Latin combined one of the psalms, but scholars
translating into modern languages from the original do not go through the
Latin, and thus keep the older enumeration. 
This discrepancy is to be carried over into all references to Psalms in
this essay.

PENITENTES AND PADRE MARTINEZ

 

 THE PENITENTE BROTHERHOOD AND PADRE MARTINEZ 

(Written in spring 2007 at request of Corina Santistevan, a self-proclaimed “preservationist” and Book Project Director for Taos County Historical Society, as contribution to her book Taos: A Topical History published by Museum of NM Press. Revised in fall 2013; Book Signing November 10, 2013.) 

by

Rev. Juan Romero


  Local iconoclasts in early 1993 maliciously torched the venerable east morada[1]of Abiquiú; about fifty miles northwest of Santa Fe, and then threw its santos[2] under a culvert off Highway 84. That sacrilegious act horrified most Catholics and almost all of New Mexico’s people of good will. A morada is a sacred dwelling place used for the prayerful gatherings of the religious folk society Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno,[3] better known as the Penitentes. The adobe morada that the vandals attacked, located on a hilltop a short distance east of the parish church of Santo Tomás, is considered one of the earliest ever constructed. The oral history of the brotherhood traces its beginnings at least to the early eighteenth century.  Its membership in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado have for more than three centuries consistently maintained and promoted a deep devotion to the sacred passion of Our Lord.  Abiquiú has been one of the focal points of the confraternity, and the hermanos[4] have three distinct moradas in the vicinity of the church. 

  Within a few weeks of the desecration, Midwestern Presbyterian teenagers tempo
rarily residing at nearby Ghost Ranch, about fifteen miles northwest from the morada, answered a call to help repair the damage. They came and carefully helped plaster the outside of the scorched church, enjarrando[5] the charred adobe walls with a fresh coat of mud mixed with straw. Having recently arrived from Los Angeles at the Christ in the Desert Benedictine monastery in Abiquiú, I also helped the cause of restoring the damaged morada.  The monastery is about thirty miles northwest of the village of Abiquiú.  Almost half of the road, the more scenic part, has purposefully been left unpaved to promote the recluse nature of the monastery. 

  The ecumenical cooperation of these Presbyterian youths would have horrified their religious ancestors, but would have immensely pleased Padre Antonio José Martínez, Cura de Taos, born in Abiquiú in 1793.  As his tombstone recalls, Padre Martínez died in 1867, after serving the people “for forty-two years,” the last decade in sad disjunction from his bishop. For most of his ministry in Taos, Padre Martínez was moderator and spiritual father for the hermanos penitentes, and had a long-term and most important influence on their cofradías.[6]

  Antonio José Martínez was baptized at the parish church of Santo Tomás on January 17, 1793—the feast day of Desert Father San Antonio Abad. This scion of the Martín Serrano clan was born at the Santa Rosa Plaza that had its own chapel a couples of miles east of Santo Tomás beside the Chama River where the family had their home.  Fifteen miles or so northwest of Santo Tomas church on Highway 84, the majestic beauty of tall cliffs arise, layered in sandstone and sedimentary rock— yellow, brown, ochre, white, and pink.  They framed the high desert landscape, over 6,000 feet that surrounded the young life of Antonio José until he was eleven when the family moved to Taos. 

  Grandmothers tell tales about the brujas[7] that inhabit the mystic scape enchanting many spiritual seekers who call Abiquiú and its environs their home. Among them are monks—Catholic Benedictines and Muslim followers residing at the Bar Al Islam Mosque—reclusive movie stars and artists bewitched by the fascination of the area’s spiritual aura. For centuries, Abiquiú has been a welcoming place for Native American hunters, genízaros (Hispanicized Indians), buffalo soldiers,[8] and mid-nineteenth century trekkers on their way to Los Angeles or other destinations West.  For reasons of internecine warfare or draught in the thirteenth century, emigrant Anasazi from the Mesa Verde area traversed east and then south along the Río Chama and the Río Grande to construct and inhabit pueblos. A pueblo on Potsiungue hill ([spelling?] no longer standing) along the Río Chama near Abiquiú was one of the early Indian settlements, and another (still vibrant) was the Ohkay Owingeh village (San Juan Pueblo) at the convergence of the rivers Chama and Rio Grande about six miles north of present day Española. The Taos Pueblo is at the northern extremity of the Reio Grande.   Much before there were Native American or Spanish settlers in the area, there were dinosaurs in prehistoric days when the tectonic plates of Panama and New Mexico were embracing.  The secret of why dinosaurs became extinct is revealed in the especially sticky mud of the Chama River.

  Among the great merits rightly credited to Padre Martinez was his contribution to the education and formation of adults and children. In the two decades from 1826 to1846, he founded an elementary school (1826), a seminary (1833) and law school (1846).  He was also responsible for publishing on his printing press publications (broadsides, pamphlets, a newspaper and books) that covered religion, education, current events and politics. His greatest contributions, however, were to the religious and political life of New Mexico in its different incarnations under Spain, Mexico, and the United States.  His impact upon the Penitent Brotherhood of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno must be counted one of his greatest contributions to the spiritual legacy of the history of New Mexico.

  Devotion to the sacred passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly consistent with the Holy Scriptures, Catholic piety, and especially with the passionate character of the Spanish psyche.  A few scripture quotes convey the message:   “Take up your cross daily, and follow me,”[9] was a frequent exhortation Jesus gave in various ways.  The author of the Letter to the Hebrews spoke of discipleship,
learning from the Master, in blood-drenched but healing terms: “For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he receives.”[10]  “…all discipline seems a cause for grief…but later it brings forth the fruit of peace and justice…be…healed.”[11]  “In your fight against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding blood.”[12]

  The literal extent to which these exhortations reached became manifested in the new world.  Thirteen years after the Indian rebellion of 1680 and consequent expulsion of the Spanish colony, Don Diego de Vargas returned back to New Mexico with his soldiers, exiled settlers and companions from El Paso and territories further south. Also accompanying him were flagellants thoroughly imbued with the spirit and practice of the medieval societies that had deep devotion to the suffering Christ. A number of those accompanying De Vargas, including one of my own ancestors, Francisco Xavier Romero,[13] settled in the area of Santa Cruz de La Cañada, not many miles to the east of present-day Española.  It is not at all unlikely that some of these flagellants became the pioneers of what developed in an organization of Penitente Brotherhoods, and formed a hub for the practice and extension[14] of the cofradías.

 Activities of the Penitentes

  Membership in the Hermandad consisted primarily of men, but there are tales of groups of women members, one in the Monte Vista area of southern Colorado, and the other in Arroyo Hondo, twelve miles north of Taos. The women of Colorado may still gather semi-formally to do corporal penance in a particular selected home, and the Arroyo Hondo women, La Sociedad de San Antonio, still meets at the Morada De Abajo.  The small village of Arroyo Hondo with its two moradas—an upper and lower one— used to faithfully keep the feast of La Porciúncula[15] on August 2, with the Vigil beginning in the evening of August 1.

  The Hermanos provided a powerful religious presence and leadership for the Spanish settlers, especially in the more isolated areas of the older core of northern New Mexico, southern Colorado, and a beyond. On

Fridays of Lent, Hermanos would often lead long processions for the public recitation of the Stations of the Cross. They sometimes led a procession, taking the large image of the suffering Christ, Nuestro Padre Jesús, from the church to the morada, and other times, they would be seen in flagellant processions on Friday nights of Lent. However, current activities of the Penitentes more frequently include leading rosaries at funerals and singing alabados.[16]  Members of the Hermandad, the Brotherhood, usually gathered on Wednesdays and Fridays for the purpose of prayer and acts of penance and to prepare for activities of Lent and Holy Week, the culmination of their year. Penitentes led the celebration for other important feasts such as All Saints and All Souls (November 1 and 2), and for the patron saint of the local village that was always especially noted.

  In the 20th century, many Penitentes while retaining memberships in their Cofradías also beame members of the Mutualistas, a secular counterpart with similar goals of charity to a neighbor.  The organization also served as a Hispanic pioneer insurance fraternity especially useful at times of funerals. Historically and until today, Penitentes organized themselves for penitential practices as well as for mutual human aid of almost every kind. They bound themselves under their honor and oath, “to protect themselves mutually…for all, and to all that which might be just and beneficial…”[17] (Emphasis mine)

 La Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno

  The more ample name of the Penitent Brotherhood is La Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno, an unwieldy but meaningful title. 

La Hermandad (or Cofradía): People from Mexico sometimes refer to people from New Mexico as “’manitos.” This comes from the custom that older New Mexicans retain in referring to a neighbor or anyone else of the community as “Mano Fulano.” “Mano” here has nothing to do with “hand,” but is an apocopated from of “hermano.” Addressing one another as “brother” and “sister” is certainly of the Gospel, a vocative based in the New Testament and currently used mostly in churches and labor unions. Its traditional use in northern New Mexican society until the twentieth century may be a reflection of the historical strength of the hermandades or cofradias, i.e., the brotherhoods.

 de Nuestro Padre: It might seem odd, if not heretical, to refer to Jesus as “Nuestro Padre.” After all, according to orthodox Christian theology, the First Person of the Blessed Trinity, is God the Father. (My emphasis) Jesus as the eternally begotten Son of the Father is the Second Person of the Trinity—equal to, yet distinct from the Father. Jesus succinctly states, “The Father and I are one.”[18] Jesus told Philip the Apostle, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”[19]

  Trying to discuss the mystery of the Blessed Trinity in human language is difficult, and in the early fourth century, Arius, the priest from Alexandria, got it wrong. He preferred to emphasize the biblical verse, “The Father is greater than I.”[20] He heretically taught that the Son is not equal to the Father, but this is not orthodox theology as defined by Catholic Church teaching in ecumenical councils. The heresy of Arianism effectively denied the divinity of Christ, and was finally defeated with the Council of Nicea in 325. The spiritual descendants of Arius in the fourth century considered God the Father as the only true God, and did not accept that Jesus Christ fully shared in the divine nature. Arians asserted Jesus Christ had a beginning and therefore was a creature. They taught that Jesus, although exalted, was not equal to God the Father. They also denied that the Holy Spirit was equal to both the Father and the Son, thus demoting the Holy Spirit to a third tier of spiritual energy.

 Although defeated theologically in the first quarter of the fourth century, Arian influence lingered into the fifteenth century. Correctives to this heresy came from the Spanish Dominican priest Vincent Ferrer of Valencia (1350-1419), called the Angel of Judgment.  He forcefully preached that Jesus is equal to the Father, and some of his insistence influenced Spanish devotion expressed in the term Nuestro Padre Jesús.  (My emphasis)

  Vincent Ferrer, a famous preacher, called for unity in Christ and his Church, and inveighed against the scandal of disunity promoted by rival claimants to the papacy: one in Avignon, France, and the other in Rome. The rift within high-level ecclesiastical politics disillusioned Vincent. He dedicated himself to preaching the need for repentance throughout various parts of Europe. He traveled with a team of priests and laypeople—men and women—and helped reconcile repentant sinners and catechized adults.

  Among those who followed Vincent Ferrer were flagellants who scourged themselves in a penitential discipline. Vincent “had inspired [them] to make public atonement… without degenerating into fanaticism.”[21]  The flagellants expressed a strain of Christianity modern for the twelfth century that strongly emphasized the humanity of Christ. It was a reaction to the first centuries of Christian devotion that focused on the source of salvation as the risen Lord, the Christos Kurios, the Lord and Messiah proclaimed in the early church and whose glorious visage was reflected in the splendiferous icons of the pantocrator, ruler of the universe.

  St. Francis of Assisi was the quintessential exponent of devotio moderna, “modern devotion” of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Francis gave us the crèche and Stations of the Cross, and moreover manifested wounds of Christ’s passion on his own body—the stigmata. Francis helped the universal church of both the East and West to appreciate that the transcendent Lord of Hosts who became a little child and who, in full maturity, was yet touchable, reachable and passible, i.e., capable of human suffering and death. There were, in total, “seven leading founders of this new spirituality” that emphasized the humanity of Christ.[22]

  During the Second Vatican Council that ended in 1963, the theological pendulum had reverted back to the ancient emphasis on the resurrected one: Jesus Christ the Lord.[23] However, the experiences of believers and others oppressed in Latin America and Central America during the mid 1970s gave rise to a revived emphasis on the sufferings of Christ, His sacred passion and death.  This was the reality to which they could more easily relate.[24]   Either the cross or resurrection by itself is incomplete. For salvation, both are necessary, and the complete paschal journey is through the cross to glory. Jesus Christ “had to suffer and die”[25] t> before rising.  We are called to the same paschal journey.

Jesús Nazareno: The name Jesus was common enough in the first century of the Common Era. It means savior, and contains within itself a proclamation of faith in Jesus as savior of the world. “By his stripes, we are healed,”[26] the prophet Isaiah spoke in prophetic vision about the Suffering Servant some seven centuries before Jesus was born. One of the bultos of Jesus venerated by New Mexicans and other peoples of Latin America is the wooden and gesso image of Jesus standing in a red or purple robe, hands tied, and crown of thorns piercing his bloody head. This image is referred to as Jesús Nazareno or simply El Nazareno.  In Hispanic Catholic iconography, the title evokes the bloody image of the Suffering Servant. An Advent prophecy speaks of Jesus as a Nazarene: “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”[27] The messiah’s birth is to be from the root, stem, or stump of Jesse, the father of King David. The Hebrew word for root or stem is natzer, and some scholars see the attribution of Jesus as a “Nazarene” from this derivation as well as from the fact that Jesus grew up in Nazareth of Galilee, his boyhood home until young adulthood.

 Padre Martínez and the Penitentes

  In his 1828 report, A Look At  [Una Ojeada] New Mexico, Licenciado Antonio Barreiro, a Mexican layman and tax assessor responsible to the secular authority, painted a grim picture of the “doleful”[28] financial situation of “the New Mexico” (La [Custodia] de Nuevo México). He gave it faint prospects for future potential revenue.  He also painted a similar picture regarding New Mexico’s spiritual situation for the Cathedral Chapter of Durango,[29] influencial in the process for the selection of the bishop to succeed Bishop Castañiza after his death.  After the death of Bishop Castañiza, who had ordained Padre Martinez, Rome in 1831 appointed Don José Antonio Laureano de Zubiría y Escalante to succeed as the new bishop of Durango. Bishop Zubiría appointed Don Juan Rafael Rascón as Visitor General and Vicar of New Mexico, and sent him to reconnoiter the northern extremity of the Diocese of Durango in preparation for a futue visit of the new Bishop to Santa Fe and Taos. Padre Martínez sent a couple of his parishioners from Taos to Santa Fe in order to meet with Vicar Rascón during his visitation.

  One of the delegates of Padre Martínez was Donaciano Vigil, later to have a very significant role in the history of New Mexico.[30] The purpose of the delegation was to speak with Vicar Rascón in the name of sixty hermanos of the Third Order of San Francisco.  They asked permission to fulfill their observances in Taos instead of at the headquarters of “The Third Order” in the Vila of Santa Cruz de La Cañada. These sixty “brothers” from Taos were most likely members of Los Hermanos Penitentes. Vicar Rascón had no objection that these Taoseños fulfill their religious duties as Third Order Franciscans at Taos instead of at Santa Cruz, but honoring proper jurisdiction, he referred the matter to the Superior of the Franciscan Order in New Mexico.[31]

  Padre Martinez, however, may have wanted something other than a convenience for his parishioners to fulfill a spiritual obligation closer to home. He seems to have coveted the role of spiritual leader in Taos of La Orden Tercera de Penitencia, the venerable and ecclesiastically approved religious society for lay faithful. The existence of the Franciscan Third Order in La Villa de Santa Cruz was as old as the settlement itself that dated to 1693.[32]   The Franciscan Custos, Guardian of the Province of St. Paul for New Mexico, was the superior of the secular Third Order for lay people. He was the one officially capable of delegating Padre Martinez to be the spiritual leader of the members of La Orden Tercera de Penitencia in the Taos area.

  Aware of the dicey reputation of flagellants in the history of the church, and their subsequent condemnations for exaggerations, Padre Martínez wrote Bishop Zubiría in February 1833.  In the letter that anticipated the first of three visits the Bishop would make to New Mexico, Martínez offered him quite a vivid description of the rites of the Hermanos who had been in existence “since time immemorial”:

During the time that I have had in my charge the spiritual administration of this parish, there has been a gathering of men belonging to the Brotherhood of the Blood of Christ who have been carrying on penitential exercises during Lent. They do this especially on the Fridays of Lent and during all of Holy Week from Good Friday until Pentecost, and on other such meaningful days of the year.  Their exercises consist in dragging large wooden crosses along the ground, in whipping themselves with scourges that they have for this purpose, and in piercing their backs with sharp rocks or blades of volcanic glass until blood spurts out. There are other forms of penitential exercises prescribed this way: walk barefoot, even in the snow and ice, and go without clothes except for loincloths or white pants over their private parts and a mask-neckerchief over the face so as not to be recognized but still able to see….  Moreover, they have the custom of walking in procession in front of the sacred images on the days of Holy Week. They say that this is the way allowed to them since time immemorial.[33]

  Padre Martinez admitted there were exaggerations.  His letter may have been with the intent of posturing himself as one who could moderate excesses with the purpose of avoiding the Bishop’s explicit condemnation of the Hermanos during his imp
ending visit. In asking the Bishop’s advice, Martínez identified their growth in number, and the discord in their midst. He claimed he was trying to moderate the penitential practices by restricting them to nighttime activities and isolated places. His letter resumes:

Nevertheless, for now I have suspended them from public manifestations. Since the manner in which they have carried out their rituals until now seems to me to be out of harmony [muy disonante]. I have permitted them to carry out their penitential exercises only at night or in solitary locations during the day. In the proportion that their number has grown, discord has also come about among them, and other followers are scandalized. In all, I am consulting your Excellency about what I should tell them in this case: continue their practices, modify them or take them away. For all that is said, I beg Your Excellency to please give me your response as to what I should do in this case.[34]

  Before he left Durango for his visitation to New Mexico, Bishop Zubiría[35] replied to Padre Martínez on April 1, 1833, as follows:

The indiscrete devotion of Penances that these Brothers or congregants, named for the Blood of Christ, cannot but excite one with a great disturbance of body and soul. In virtue of this, I heartily approve of what your words provide in order to suspend such excesses of public Penances. Hold fast to that prohibition, and call upon the help of the secular authority if necessary. With the pressure of things upon me, it seems more certain that I will not be able to see to it myself for now….

Meanwhile, would you privately exhort them to contain their Penitential practices within the privacy of the church–taking care to always carry them out with moderation. If they wish to placate divine justice and give pleasure to God as should be their desire, the best way to please Him ideally is to listen to the voice of their pastors and follow it with docility. In regards to the request about establishing a Third Order in that parish, we will talk about it upon my visit, and that will not be long in coming.[36]

  In July 1833, Bishop Zubiría arrived in New Mexico, coming to the parish of Santa Cruz de la Cañada near present-day Española before going to Taos. He left notations in the books of parish records, giving his approval to the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and that of the Blessed Sacrament. However, he wrote a notation in the parish books stating that he did not approve of “a certain Brotherhood of Penitentes, [that the Hermanos claim is] already ancient, that has existed in this Villa [of Santa Cruz de la Cañada].” During his visit, the Bishop learned that the Hermanos observed some days of corporal penance that were very hard, carrying heavy crosses for the long distance of five or six miles. Before he left the La Villa de Santa Cruz in the fall, Bishop Zubiría wrote a special letter condemning the Penitentes–a document he wanted promulgated in other places as well. He asserted the Brotherhood, in spite of its long existence in the area, was without the authorization or knowledge of its bishops. Their forms of penance were too excessive and “contrary to the spirit of the [Catholic] Religion…not at all in conformity with Christian humility.”[37]

  The Bishop seemed to leave a certain opening to the activities of the Brotherhood by stating that prayer gatherings for moderate penitential exercises could be held in the church. However, Bishop Zubiría felt obliged to close the door to flagellant abuses that “at one time made Holy Church shed tears.”[38] Forbiding any priest of the Territory from officiating in any place for Penitentes, the Bishop annulled the Brotherhood of Penance and said it ought to remain extinguished. He exhorted everyone to most punctually obey his decision, reminding all that obedience was one of the most acceptable sacrifices offered to God. Bishop Zubiría remained in New Mexico until mid-October. Before returning to Durango, he wrote another letter, this one on the Sacrament of Penance.[39] Although he did not forbid moderate penance, calling it healthful for the spirit, he forbade the use of the large wooden crosses, asked that instruments of mortification not be kept in the church, and referred to certain practices as butchery  (carnecería).

  After visiting Santa Cruz, Bishop Zubiría, went on to Taos —still in July 1833, and acceded to the request of Padre Martínez to take charge of the Franciscan society for lay people that included women;[40] the Fra
nciscan Third Order had existed in New Mexico for almost a century and a half. At the behest of Bishop Zubiría, Fray Manuel Antonio García del Valle, OFM–as the superior of the Third Order in New Mexico and the Franciscan Custodian of the New Mexico Province of the Conversion of St. Paul—made the appointment official at the end of July. Padre Martinez was now the director of the venerable Orden de Terceras de Penitencia in Northern NM, and Fray Garcia del Valle entrusted the Padre “with power as full as that which we exercise.”[41] This enabled bringing the Penitentes under the general umbrella of the Franciscan Third Order.

  Within the folds of the habit of the secular Franciscan Third Order, it seems to me, Padre Martinez re-configured the Hermanos of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno and its practices in order to protect them from the effects of episcopal censure. In this way, the brothers not only survived but also flourished as an important and viable force of mutual help and religious devotion within the isolated and rural communitarian structure of New Mexico. Padre Martinez helped the brotherhood to maintain and deepen cultural and religious ties among the local community and beyond. He was a moderating influence, a spiritual father and guide, promoter, as well as organizer of the Penitent Brotherhood.

  Although layman Bernardo Abeyta,[42] founder of the Santuario of Chimayó, was the “kingpin of nearly all the Brotherhood activity until 1855, “from Conejos area to Cochití for sure,”[43] Padre Martinez was the one mainly responsible for molding the organization into its modern form.[44]  His role in the formation of the Penitentes’ organization–its practice and development –was influenced by the landscape of Abiquiú and Taos that imbued his boyhood, the religious heritage he personified, the circumstances of his own life and the developing history of New Mexico as it adapted to New Mexico’s changing history that Padre Martinez also helped shape.[45]

  The attitude of Padre Martínez toward Penitentes seemed to have changed from a negative perception, conveyed to Bishop Zubiría, to a very positive one. Some opine this was a result of the American occupation of 1846. “Changes in sovereignty in the introduction of foreign cultures symbolically transformed the Penitent brotherhood into the preserves of traditional Hispano spirituality.”[46]

 The Duran Chapel: Another Penitente Base in Taos

  Many moradas, “dwelling places” where Penitente devotions and activities took place, existed in the Taos area during the 19th century, and an significant cluster continues today around the Taos area: Arroyo Seco, Ranchos, and Talpa.  By 1827, six years after Mexican Independence from Spain and shortly after Padre Martinez arrived as the priest-in-charge of Taos where he had lived with his parents since boyhood, thirty or so families were living in the new plaza at Río Chiquito, a tributary of the Río de las Trampas in the vicinity of Ranchos de Taos. The village today is called Talpa after Our Lady of Talpa venerated especially in the sourthern mountainous region of Jalisco. Don Bernardo Durán, one of the more prosperous citizens of Río Chiquito, petitioned Padre Martinez on behalf of the families for the right to recognize the Virgin Mary as their special patroness under the title of Our Lady of San Juan (Bautista) de Los Lagos, venerated in the northern part of Jalisco. The following year, Bernardo Durán built the chapel of San Juan d Los Lagos.  On the occasion of his 1833 visit to the area, Bishop José Antonio Laureano de Zubiría gave permission to have Mass and other liturgical services at the chapel of San Juan.[47]

  The Marian shrine of Talpa in Jalisco is a place of pilgrimage dating to the mid seventeenth century. It is characterized by twin gothic spires, and is located more than a hundred miles southeast of Mexico City, and another hundred miles inland from Acapulco. The devotion to Our Lady of Talpa arrived in the Taos area about 1815, and flowered some twenty years later with the building of the private Chapel of Our Lady of Talpa for which the local village is named.  Nicolás Sandoval, an active and influential member of the Brotherhood in the Taos Valley, built the Talpa chapel at his
own expense next to his own home, and very near to the chapel of San Juan. 40  [48]A decade after the San Juan de Los Lagos chapel was built, Sandoval in 1838 established nearby his private chapel in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa. The northern New Mexico small chapel, named for the Mexican shrine in southern Jalisco, signaled lively commerce on La Caravana from Mexico City through Chihuahua to Taos.

The Coming of Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy

  On July 1, 1851, Lamy wrote to the clergy of New Mexico and announced his impending arrival. The roof of the Talpa Chapel was being re-roofed at the exact time that Jean Baptiste Lamy was arriving at Santa Fe as the new Vicar Apostolic and soon-to-be first Bishop of Santa Fe. Painted anew, dated July 2, 1851, an inscription on a plank (latilla) of the new ceiling announced that the chapel was for the “use of [a la dispocición de…] the priest Don Antonio José Martínez.”[49]  The person who helped refurbish the church and painted the plank signed his name as José Samora. The last name is not common in New Mexico. A person by the same name was the “President or Elder Brother (Hermano Mayor) and Councilman José Francisco Zamora”[50] in 1857, and he may be the same person.

  Although Padre Martinez initially tried to ingratiate himself with the new ecclesiastical authority, upon request lending his counsel in canonical matters and making a financial loan, the relationship never warmed. Almost from the start, Lamy was in tension with the powerful Padre Martinez of Taos. Within a year of his arrival, the new Bishop re-imposed a system of tithing[51] that Padre Martinez—as a young priest—had helped terminate. Martinez had claimed it was an excessive burden on the poor, but Lamy, within a couple of years of his arrival, threatened to bar from the sacrament of Eucharist those who did not comply. In the newspaper La Gaceta de Santa Fe, Padre Martínez publicly denounced his Bishop for simony and hucksterism[52] because of his insistence on tithing under pain of censure.

  Padre Martinez later tried to take back some of his intemperate public statements and, in other correspondence, told Bishop Lamy he was thinking of retiring because of health concerns.

  Because of an illness, Padre Martinez returned home to Taos in early 1822 shortly after ordination, but before finishing some course.  That lack impeded his becoming officially named a pastor, although he was in charge of various parishes, he went back to Durango where he had studied as a seminarian for a year’s sabbatical in 1840. Finally, after many years, Padre Martínez was canonically named an “irremovable pastor,” CURA PROPRIO of the parish of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Taos where he had grown up as a young man and where he had been serving as priest-in-charge (interim pastor) since 1826.  Now, according to the canon law of the time, Padre Martínez could not be removed from his parish except for grave cause and only after formally requesting a transfer in a letter.

  Padre Martinez wrote Bishop Lamy a letter complaining about health concerns. He also suggested that he was thinking about retiring at some future date. The Bishop chose to understand the letter as a request for retirement and accepted an offer that Padre Martínez did not explicitly make. Although it is not easy to remove a pastor, ultimately a Bishop can move or retire any priest from his diocese. Bishop Lamy appointed Padre Damask Taladrid, a priest had met in Rome, as the new pastor to Taos in May 1856. The former Spanish army officer did not at all get along with the former pastor of Taos, and their antagonism was mutual. Father Taladrid wrote to Bishop Lamy
to denounce Padre Martinez for celebrating Mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of Talpa.[53]

 Rules for Penitentes

  Father Taladrid apparently drafted series of Twelve Rules for the Penitentes in order to attempt to exert control over the Brotherhood, or at least codify their norms for easier reference by the Bishop or his surrogates.[54]  He urged Padre Martinez to relinquish his spiritual authority over the Third Order Lay Franciscans, but Padre Martinez of course demurred, saying he could not give up his sub-delegation of authority over the Third Order since it was given to him personally. On October 27, 1856, Bishop Lamy promulgated the Twelve Rules for the Penitentes and on the same day, officially suspended Padre Martínez from performing his priestly functions: celebrating Masses, hearing Confessions, and preaching.

  Father Eulogio Ortiz, now the Bishop’s secretary, succeeded Father Taladrid as the priest in charge of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Taos. In the spring of 1857, “His Grace Don Juan Lamy graciously granted permission to continue the devotion [my emphasis] of the Passion and death of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, as a penance, by all the devotees.”[55]   On March 9, 1857, the Bishop promulgated an additional Five Rules for Penitentes, a complement to the Twelve Rules that “[Father] Taladrid himself had formulated for the Brotherhood.”[56]  The promulgation of rules for Penitentes—Five Rules drafted by Father Ortiz in addition to the Twleve Rules presented by Father Taladrid—clearly showed that Bishop Lamy recognized the existence of the Brotherhoods and approved of them to the extent their members follow the rules. The 9th and 10th rules specifically require that all members of the Brotherhood obey and respect Bishop Lamy and their legitimate parish priest. The rules expressly permitted the Brothers to do penance, as has been their custom for many years back, with these provisos: that the penance be hidden, that it does not give scandal to the rest of the faithful, and is not done with excessive pride. These concerns echo the Special Letter that Bishop Zubiría had written for the Penitentes in 1833, but without any condemnation attached. The treatment of Penitentes under Bishop Lamy, it must be said, was happily more moderate and pastorally more sensitive to the popular religion of New Mexicans than either that of his Mexican episcopal predecessor Zubiría or fellow Frenchman and successor Bishop Jean Baptiste Salpointe.[57]

  Twelve years after the death of Padre Martinez, Bishop Lamy–exhorting the Penitentes not to allow themselves to follow “a false species of devotion,”[58] a formula later echoed by Protestant critics,[59] somewhat moderated his approval of the Penitentes. Archbishop Salpointe, almost twenty years after the death of Padre Martinez, forbade Penitente flagellation and public dragging of their wooden crosses.[60] Six years after that prohibition, in 1892, Archbishop Salpointe responded to a petition of the Penitentes to be recognized and approved by him, but now his response to the Penitentes’ request for recognition and approval was roundly in the negative.[61] Salpointe would later become the Bishop of Arizona,

 Excommunication

  Father Taladrid under a cloud,[62] left the pastorate of Guadalupe Church in Taos. Padre Martinez was hoping that Padre Medina, one of his seminary students, would eventually become the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but Bishop Lamy sent Father José Eulogio Ortiz in 1857 to replace Taladrid as pastor. Padre Martinez was at first pleased to welcome Ortiz, a native New Mexican and one of his alumni in the pre-theology seminary. Young Father Eulogio Ortiz was also the nephew of former Vicar Padre Juan Felipe Ortiz. However, as a young priest, Father Eulogio had accompanied Bishop Lamy on one of his trips to Rome, was a favorite of the Bishop, and not at all sympathetic to Martínez.

 Padre Martinez may have invited ecclesiastical censure for publicly denouncing his Bishop in the press, accusing him of simony: exacting tithes under pain of exclusion from Holy Communion for those who did not comply. He may also have invited censure for presiding at the marriage of his favorite niece to Pedro Sánchez in his newly built private oratorio after Father Taladrid had refused permission for Martinez to officiate at the wedding in the parish church. There were rumors, but no proof of unbecoming or illicit moral behavior, asserted Vicar General J.P. Machebeuf, although the Padre did sire children.  Nevertheless, Padre Martínez was not prepared for the most severe censure of excommunication thon the heels of a tiff with Father Eulogio Ortiz regarding accutrements from the Chapel of Our Lady of Talpa during Holy Week of 1858.

 Father Eulogio Ortiz, the new pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Taos, surreptitiously took from the Chapel of Our Lady of Talpa some Penitente-related images. Padre Martínez became irate and, expecting just recourse, passionately reported the incident to Bishop Lamy.[63] Instead of recriminating Father Ortiz, within two weeks after the Talpa Chapel altercation with Father J. Eulogio Ortiz, Bishop Lamy excommunicated Padre Martinez on Low Sunday, the Sunday after Easter!

 Incorporation

  By 1861, Nicolás Sandoval was most likely the Hermano Mayor for the Brothers in Ranchos de Taos. In that year, he was one of thirteen Penitente leaders in the county of Taos whose names appear on the “Act to Incorporate the Pious Fraternity of the County of Taos, January 30, 1861.” This was an attempt to organize the moradas of the Taos valley into a legal entity for protective purposes. Sandoval was also one of the five leaders in Taos County to formulate the “Constitution of Rules for the Internal Government of the Pious Fraternity of the County of Taos,” written February 23, 1861. This 1861 Constitution included a statement affirming the Taos Brotherhood’s right to possession of “any buildings and possessions belonging to the Brotherhood since olden times,” and the right to “claim them before any civil authority using all possible means to gain possession or obtain a just and fitting restitution.” The intention here most likely was to prevent the Church hierarchy or institution form gaining title to their chapels and moradas. Padre Martínez, in spite of his excommunication, continued using unlicensed chapels throughout the County, such as Nicolás Sandoval’s Our Lady of Talpa, to celebrate Mass and the sacraments for a large portion of the Hispanic population. He continued “until his death in 1867 as the de facto spiritual leader in Taos County.”[64]

 Protestant Inroads

  Manifest Destiny provided a providential opportunity for Protestants to evangelize the “perverted”[65] Hispanic Catholicism of the Penitentes and of all people in the Southwest. “Calvinism—ministers of the Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Baptist religions and others of that ilk—had a horror of ritual in the 19th century, but Congregationalists and Presbyterians eased up in the 20th century,” observed Father Steele.[66] Their missionaries published descriptions of the Penitentes as a part of their missionary strategy to demonstrate the importance of their task and to describe challenges and hardships they faced.[67] Their sentiment was that these neo-pagans of Spanish Catholic ancestry need a conversion to the real Jesus. Their descriptions of bloody rituals and practices were calculated to elicit horror from Eastern Protestants who would then become more disposed to support their missionary efforts with funds and personnel.

Presbyterians claimed that Penitentes became Protestants because of the indirect support of Padre Martínez who was excommunicated by Bishop Lamy. Some Penitentes did become Protestants and served as the core of several Spanish-language Presbyterian congregations in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. By the end of the nineteenth century there were about 3,000 adult Hispano Protestant church members organ
ized in about 100 congregations in New Mexico and southern Colorado.[68]

  Several family members and others close to Padre Martínez became Presbyterians, including Pascual Martínez, the Padre’s youngest and favorite brother. Pedro Sánchez, whom Padre Martinez married to his niece in his own oratorio, flirted with Presbyterianism in the 1860s, but was later reconciled to the Church during some missions the Jesuits under the leadership of Father Donato Gasparri gave in the Taos area after Padre Martínez died in 1867. Almost forty years later, in 1904, Sánchez authored his panegyric Memorias Sobre La Vida del Presbítero Antonio José Martínez, Cura de Taos wherein he makes no mention of church controversies.

  José Domingo Mondragón is reputed to have been an Hermano Mayor of the Ranchos de Taos area. He and Vicente Romero became elders of the first Presbyterian Church in Taos in 1873, located across the road from the residence of Padre Martínez and later at El Prado adjacent to the Taos Pueblo. Mondragón was a candidate for ministry by 1877 and obtained his licentiate in theology by 1878. He held the church title of Evangelist and served in Taos and Ranchos de Taos from 1880 to 1895, spending 1884 in Mora—about seventy miles away.

  José Vicente Ferrer Romero, also a lay evangelist, was an illegitimate son Padre Martínez, born in Taos of the widow Teodora Romero only two years before the American occupation in 1846. It was a highly conflictive time both in civil society and in the church of Santa Fe. Until his death in 1912, at the age of 68, Vicente Ferrer Romero served as an active and effective lay evangelizer for the Presbyterian Church in northern New Mexico.[69]

 Death and Aftermath

  After the death of Padre Martinez, Bishop Lamy invited Jesuit missionaries to attempt to bring heal the breach. In January 1869, the Italian Jesuit Father Donato M. Gasparri held a preaching mission in Taos of over two weeks duration. One account claims that more than 3,000 persons took part in the spiritual exercises and were reconciled through the sacrament of Penance, some relatives of Padre Martínez among them. It was reported that the Jesuit missionaries convalidated seventy-six marriages at which Padres Martinez and Lucero assisted, considered invalid because of their lack of jurisdiction.[70] Nevertheless, as E.K. Francis wrote in 1956,

The whole series of events left a wound in the side of the Catholic Church in New Mexico that was long to heal, and the scar can yet be felt. To the Spanish-American minority, however, the wholesale removal of the native clergy has been a tragedy, for it deprived them of their natural leaders capable of cushioning the shock of conquest from which as a group the Hispanos have never quite recovered.[71]

  Reyes N. Martínez of Arroyo Hondo[72] told a story claiming that a Penitente going to the calvario at the upper morada in Arroyo Hondo dropped to his knees, jolted the carriage with Doña Sebastiana inside, and “released the arrow that pierced his kidney and killed him.” Mi Comadre Doña Sebastiana rides the Death Cart, a wooden carving dear to the Penitentes and many older northern New Mexicans.  Death comes “in the wink of an eye”[73]—accoridng to a popular Latin saying pertaining to death, part of Catolic culture for centuries.  We are also exhorted to remember death because “time flies.”[74]  The figure represents Death, not as a macabre reality, but as St. Francis would have it, “Sister Death.” She is comadre, i.e., a member of everyone’s family. The family treats her with respect, calling her Doña. She is named after St. Sebastian, a post-logical allusion to the third-century Roman saint who was martyred with arrows.  This is supposed to have taken place in 1867, the year of Padre Martínez’ death.[75]
Maybe it is a metaphor of the dying of a people that took place along with its leader. However, even with—and maybe especially among—Penitentes, there is hope of resurrection.

  The esteem in which Padre Martinez was held by the villages of Taos, and particularly by the Penitente Brothers, is attested by the fact that upon his death—after a Vigil of thirty-six hours–more than 300 members of La Fraternidad Piadosa de Condado de Taos and other Hermanos from all over northern New Mexico marched in his funeral procession.[76]

“Never” is long time, and the “never” that E. K. Francis talked about may be near. The healing process is slow, but full recovery of the enlightenment brought to New Mexico is once again on the horizon of this reluctant dawn because of the renewed interest in Padre Martínez and a greater appreciation of his rightful place in the history of New Mexico and the Catholic Church.


END NOTES

[1] Cf. Wroth, Talpa Chapel, p. 70. A morada is a special gathering place of the Hermanos Penitentes of New Mexico

[2] Images of a patron saint or sacred theme crafted by a santero, either traditionally painted with vegteble dyes on wood or carved from a piece of wood.

[3] Literally translates to Our Father Jesus the Nazarene, a folk brotherhood in northern New Mexico with great devotion to the passion of Jesus Christ.

[4] The Penitentes are a lay religious franternal organization, a “brotherhood” or cofradía.

[5] The adobe churches of New Mexico are made of “living stones,” i.e. dried mud bonded by straw.  It is mixed by hand, and renewed by massaging (plasterning) new wet med and straw for renewal and repair.  The communal process is called ejarrar.

[6] A brotherhood or fraternal organization with charitable or religious purposes whose membership meet from time to time to carry out their purposes.

[7] A witch in Hispanic mythology is a woman with spiritual power, for good or evil.  Most witches in New Meican folklore are benevolent, e.g. Ultima of Rudolfo Anaya’s 1972 novel Bless Me, Ultima recently made into a film.

[8] Native American tribes gave this nickname to African American soldiers of the 10th Army Regiment of the U.S. Army, formed at Fort Levenworth in 1866.  Several of these retired soldiers settled in the Abiquiu Area.

[9] Mt. 16: 24; Mk. 8:34; Lk. 9: 23; Lk. 14, 26; Lk. 18:29-34

[10] Heb. 12:6

[11] Heb. 12:10-13

[12] Heb. 12:5

[13] My uncle Tomás Romero researched the patriarchal family tree by from documents handed down in the family.

[14] The area of Santa Cruz de La Cañada was a stronghold of Penitente activity.  By 1739, Santa Cruz was a point of departure for migration westward to Abiquiú and Tierra Amarilla, and by 1775 northward to Taos and into southern Colorado.

[15] This is a very Franciscan feast in honor of Our Lady Queen of Angeles who is honored at a basilica built at Assisi in the seventeenth century.  The basilica was constructed by devotees of the Povorello, St. Francis, who in the thirteenth century used to pray at a Benedictine-built wayside chapel at Assisi.  After Francis gathered followers, they used to meet there, and he died there (his transitus) on October 3, 1226.  The small chapel within the large basilica came to be called Porciúcula or little portion.

[16] Hymns of praise whose tone modality was often doleful, frequently sung at the Rosary vigil the evening before funerals.

[17] Weigle, p. 214.  Appendix XII – Archbishop Salpointe’s Circular on the Penitentes, English Version – February 7, 1892.

 [18] Jn. 10:30

[19] Jn. 14: 8

[20] Jn. 14:28

[21] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 14, p. 681, Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C., c. 1967.

 [22] Steele, S.J., Rev. Thomas, “Late Medieval Spirituality” in Alabados of NM, pp. 81-17, especially pp. 81-10.  The other six besides St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226) were the following: saints Romuald (d. 1027), Bernard (d. 1153), Dominic (1221), and Bridget of Sweden (d. 1153).  Numbered among the top three “for New Mexican purposes,” besides St. Francis, were Peter Damian (d. 1072) and Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109).

[23] Durwell, F.X., C.Ss.R., The Resurrection: A Bilbical Study, NY, Sheed and Ward, 1960, pp. 359.  http://www.hprweb.com/2012/03/the-60th-anniversary-of-f-x-durwells-classic-the-resurrection-a-biblical-study/

 [24] Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J. is the quntesenntial proponent of liberation theology with a renewed emphasis on the passion of Christ.  His books include the following: Christology the Crossroads (1978), The True Church and the Poor (1984), Jesus the Liberator (1991), Christ the Liberator (1999), Spirituality of Liberation (1990), The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross (Orbis, 1994), No Salvation Outside the Poor: Prophetic-Utopian Essays (Orbis, 2008).  Born of a Basque family in Barelona, Sobrino became a Jesuit and seved in Guatemala for several years.  Like the assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, the Jesuit order teaching at their Catholic University in El Salvador were outspoken in their efforts to bring resolution to the civil war.  On November 19, 1989, Army agents brutally murdered six of Sobirno’s fellow Jesuits stationed there, as well as their housekeeper and her daughter.  However, Father Sobrino escaped beause he was out of the country at the time. In March of 2007, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a monitum, a “notification” or warning against certain “dangerous or erroneous” porpositons held by Father Sobrino.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Sobrino

 [25] Luke 24:26

[26] Is. 53:5

[27] Is. 11:11

[28] Weigle, op. cit. p. 23

 [29] The Cathedral Chapter is responsible for any important decisions that must be made before the selection of a succeeding bishop.

 [30] Donaciano Vigil succeeded Charles Bent as Governor of New Mexico after his assassination.  Vigil most prominently severed as the second Governor of New Mexico under military rule.  In February 1847, he convoked a Territorial Convention that met on October 14, and it selected Padre Martinez as the President of this Convention for the establishment of a government “purely civil in character.”  Cf. Benjamin Read, Illustrated History of New Mexico, Santa Fe, 1912, pp. 453-54; pp. 439, 456, 461, 539, and 608. 

 [31] Weigle, op. cit., pp. 45-46 and p. 200, Appendix V – Acts of Vicar Rascón.  My translation follows: “There is no objection in this ecclesiastical government that those present make a request to the Superior of the Order of St.  Francis or his sub-delegates who may be in this Territory or Republic to make shorter the practice of those religious acts of devotion in the parish of Taos where those called Tertiary are living.”

 [32] “The Third Order of Penitence of Our Holy Father St. Francis has existed, although the exact year for is not fixed, since just about the [time of the] re-conquest of the Province [in 1693].” Weigle, op. cit., p. 197, Appendix III, Report of Rev. Custos Fray Cayetano José Bernal to Governor Fernando Chacón, October 1794.

 [33] Letter from Padre Martínez to Bishop Zubiría, February 21, 1833. Mary Taylor, an amateur and competente historian, El Paso residident whose husband Paul served in the NM House of Representatives, unearthed the significant letter in the Archives of the Cathedral of Durango, Mexico.  She copied and sent it to William Wroth who quoted it in his Images of Penance, Images of Mercy: Southwestern Santos in the Late Nineteenth Century, Taylor Museum, published for Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center by University of Oklahoma Press, c. 1991.  Translation of Spanish text of the letter is mine, Appendix 1, p.172.

 [34] Ibid.

 [35] Note by Fr. Steele, proofreading a draft for this essay, inserted at this point a comment distinguishing the politics of Bishop Zubiría from that of his predecessor Bishop Casañiza: “After the American and French Revolutions, the Spanish Crown went totally paranoid, demanding that responsible clerics—ideally gachupines [born in Spain]—oversee all cofradías.  Ironically, that led to a desire for liberty…called “Grito de Dolores”…. Castañiza [Former Bishop of Durango] was a rabid Tory, while [his successor] Zubiría was a moderate, but he was a Neo-Classic type—didn’t like anything medieval/Gothic, etc.  Romanticism hadn’t come to Durango, much less to Taos.”

 [36] Wroth, op. cit., Appendix II, p.173, from the Archives of the Cathedral of Durango – Microfilm roll 16, frame 689.

 [37] Bishop Zubiría’s Pastoral Letter of July 21, 1833 to priest and people of Santa Cruz de La Cañada quoted in Weigle, Appendix I – pp. 195-96.  The letter was also intended for clergy and laymen wherever Penitentes were found. Spanish transcribed by Marta Weigle from the Microfilm Edition of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM State Records Center and Archives, Roll 50, Frames 0147-0149.  Books of Patents, No. 73, Box 7, described by Chávez, Archives of the Archdiocese, p. 156.  English translation mine.

 [38] Cf.
Weigle, op. cit., p. 29, and p. 234, footnote #38.  Flagellant sects emerged two different times in Europe, and were powerful and schismatic enough to provoke Church denunciation.  The first time they emerged was in Italy following the Black Plague in 1260, and the second time was in Germany during the fourteenth century.  The Council of Constance in 1417 decreed against them.  Public flagellations were not common until the end of the fourteenth century (1580s) when the apocalyptic preaching of St. Vincent Ferrer contributed to their rise in cities such as Valencia…and Seville.

 [39] Bishop Zubiría, October 19, 1833, quoted in Weigle, p. 196.

[40] Father Steel notes that, “In Taos County, women need not apply.” However, there is a tradition that women at Arroyo Hondo were involved in penitential practices and devotions at the Lower Morada dedicated to the honor of San Antonio.

 [41] Santiago Valdez, Biography of Padre Antonio José Martinez, Cura de Taos, 1877, Ritch Collection, Huntington

Library, San Marino; unpublished manuscript, English version by Juan Romero, prepared 1993, p. 45.

 [42] Bernardo Abeyta’s son attended the minor seminary of Padre Martinez in Taos, and was ordained a priest.

[43] Notation of Fr. Tom Steele, S.J. on essay.

[44] Notation of Fr. Tom Steele, S.J.: “In 1860, Taos got itself organized, and I’m willing to bet that Padre Martinez was involved….the [civil] incorporation [of the Hermanos Penitentes] probably had his fingerprints all over it.”

[45] Cf. Marta Weigle, op. cit., pp. 47-51, “Enigmatic Role of Don Antonio José Martinez.”  Father Steel in proofreading this manuscript noted, “AJM worked both sides of all streets.”

 [46] Albert López Pulido, Sacred World of the Penitentes, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 2000, p. 92, n.30 summarizes the argument Wroth makes in Images of Penance, pp 51-52.

 [47] William Wroth, The Chapel of Our Lady of Talpa, The Tayor Museum of Fine Arts, Colorado Springs, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80903, 1979, p. 24.

[48] Cf. Wroth, ibid., pp. 103 sq., passim.  It was later called the Duran Chapel after one of Sandoval’s daughters who married Francisco Duran.  My paternal grandmother Margarita Vigil was a granddaughter of Nicolas Sandoval who built this chapel
in the 1830’s.  Margarita’s grandmother was Juana María Sandoval, the daughter of Nicolas.  Juana María married Francisco Duran for whom the chapel came to be known.

   The Talpa chapel was the one Padre Martinez used mostly after his estrangement from Bishop Lamy in 1858.  A U.S. census taker in 1860 referred to it as a “schismatic church,” but Fray Angelico Chavez roundly repudiated that term as appropriately describing the reality.  Cf. Fray Angelico Chavez, But Time and Chance, Sunstone Press, 1984, pp. 146-147.

   Since the mid 1960s, this chapel has existed only in the rubble and miniscule ruins of its foundation, hidden from view, located on private land near the highway. The adobe of the once stately chapel returned to the elements for lack of care.  However, the chapel is the subject of one of the scholarly and informative publications of the Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs.  A replica of its interior used to be prominently displayed there. May it someday be rebuilt as a house of prayer dedicated to the reconciliation of people who live in conflict.

 [49] Wroth, Ibid.

 [50] Weigle, op. cit., Appendix VII: Bishop Lamy’s Five Rules for the Penitente, March 9, 1857, p. 205.

 [51] Father Steele noted on the draft of this manuscript, “Tithes and Frist Fruits—diezmos y primicias—are NOT the same as aranceles.”  Bishop Lamy effectively cut the income of the native clergy by lowering the stole fees (aranceles) for baptisms, marriages, and burials.  Father Steele suggests the “cuts were 66% to 75%…!”  Bishop Lamy reinstated tithes and first fruits under the pain of an ecclesiastical censure that may have included exclusion from Christian burial.

 [52] Letter of Padre Martinez to Bishop Lamy, Nov. 12, 1856. Fr. Philip Cassidy, native priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, translated the letter in a manuscript her wrote in the late 1960s.  Quoted in Juan Romero, Reluctant Dawn, Second Edition, 2006, The Taos Connection – Palm Springs, CA, p. 48.

 [53] AASF (Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe), L.D.  1856, No.  24.

 [54] AASF, L.D. 1856, No. 33.

[55] Bishop Lamy may have wanted to ingratiate himself with the natural powerbase of Padre Martínez, the Hermanos Penitentes. 

 [57] Father Steele notes, “I am sure that… Lamy was infinitely better than Zubiría or Salpointe for the Hermanos Penitentes.”

[58] Weigle, op. cit., pp. 206-207. Bishop Lamy’s Lenten Pastor
al of 1879.

 [59]  “These serious seekers, by a false road for salvation [my emphasis: title of an article by Juan F. Martinez] have not been forgotten of God, ever on the watch for the sincere…” Alexander Darley, quoted in Juan Francisco Martinez of Fuller Seminary for CEHILA Discussion Paper-Draft, n.d., p. 10.

 [60] Weigle, pp. 207-208, Archbishop Salpointe’s 1886 Circular on the Third Order of St. Francis.

 [61] Ibid. p. 214-16. The quotes are from the Circular Letter of Ab. Salpointe, February 7, 1892, to be read in all the churches.  Their set of rules is described as nothing but “a bombastic appeal to all males from the age of fourteen up to join with them…. They condemn themselves, by professing the principles of Masonry…They ask [for an] oath of perpetual obligation…The Church … does not want to… approve the disorderly, indecorous and indecent practices of the Fraternity…Protectors of the Penitentes, are doing so more for political reasons… To those who have…resisted our orders, we consider them as rebels…[and] will be deprived of the reception of the Sacraments….They go out by persisting in their disobedience.”

 [62] Father Damasio Taladrid was a serious drinker, had a difficult temperament, and did not get along with parishioners who retained their love for Padre Martinez.  The mutual animosity between the priests Taladrid and Martinez lessened, and they were able to get along.  Padre Marteinez kept asking for a native New Mexican as an assistant priest, and requested Padre Ramón Medina.  However, Bishop Lamy eventjually did send a native New Mexican priest: Father Eulogio Ortiz, former student of the Padre and nephew of Vicar Juan Felipe Ortiz of Santa Fe.  In addition, Father Ortiz enjoyed the confidence of the Bishop, having accompanied him to Rome on a visit, and later becoming his priest-secretary as well as preist-in-charge of Guadalupe parish.

[63] AASF, L.D. 1858, No. 17, quoted in Talpa Chapel, Ibid. p. 36. Padre Ortiz appeared before the District Court in Santa Fe, and this is documented in a letter written April 12, 1858 by Judge Kirby Benedict of the Federal District Judge for Taos and Santa Fe.  (Ibid. p. 36)  The Taos Brotherhood’s Constitution and own rules of February 23, 1861, drafted by Nicolás Sandoval and four others, was a clear attempt to protect the Brothers from any further attacks of this kind.  “The Hermano Mayor may also apprehend any person who is not a member of the society and who ridicules, disturbs, or in any way hinders the spiritual exercises of the said fraternity.  He may enter legal action against him before the civil authorities in the name of the Fraternity of the County of Taos.”  Quoted in Ibid, pp. 36-37.

 [64] Ibid. p. 37

 [65] Cf. Juan Francisco Martínez, Ph. D., “Origins and Development of Protestantism among Latinos in the Southwestern United States: 1836-1900” (Fuller Theological Seminary, 1996).  Note on manuscript by T. Steele, S.J.—Protestant missionaries whom Juan Martínez cites as especially noteworthy for their zeal and effectiveness include the following: Thomas Harwood (Methodist, good in every way), Charles Sumner (Congregationalist), and Alexander Darley (Presbyterian, “a rather wild person not even mentioned in his minister-brother’s autobiography.”)

 [66] I sent Father Steele a draft of this essay for his comments.  This was one of the notations on the returned manuscript.

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 [67] Darley called Penitentes “serious seekers, by a false road, for salvation, have not been forgotten of God, ever on the watch for the sincere, even though ignorant and, therefore, false seeker for light…” Passionists, pp. 58-59, quoted in Juan Martínez.

 [68] Juan Francisco Martinez, quoting Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA (1877- 1900).

[69] Cf. Randi Jones Walker, Protestantism in the Sangre de Cristos: 1840s-1900s.

[70] AASF, L.D. 1858, No. 17, Troy, n.d. Ch. IV: 2-3 quoted in Ibid. p. 37.

 [71] E.K. Francis quoted in Romero, Reluctant Dawn, second ed., p. 54

[72] Brother of Cleofas Jarfamillo, author of Shadows of the Past, and author in his own right.  He wrote several items for the Works Projects Administration during the 1930s.

[73] In ictu oculi – In the wink of an eye, i.e. quickly, unexpectedly.

[74] Tempus fugit, memento mori. = Time flies, remember death.

[75] Wroth, Talpa Chapel, p. 170.

[76] Weigle, op. cit., p. 49.

 

 

 

EXCOMMUNICATION OF PADRE MARTINEZ

THE INVALIDITY OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL CENSURE AGAINST PADRE ANTONIO JOSE MARTINEZ

 A Presentation for the New Mexico Historical Society

On the Occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the

Founding of Albuquerque

 April 22, 2006

 by

 Rev. Juan Romero

 Happy birthday Albuquerque!  In the early1940s, at the dawn of my consciousness, our family lived here for a while.  We came from Taos to this city’s lower elevation for mom’s health, but then we moved to Los Angeles in 1943 for dad’s job with Lockheed Aircraft.  From family members and from a large glass-encased poster at the edge of the Taos Plaza, I first learned about Padre Antonio José Martinez, Cura de Taos.  In mid July of this year, ten days before the anniversary of his death in 1867, Padre Martinez will be commemorated with a life-sized bronze likeness to be placed in the center    of the Taos Plaza.  It will reprise what his peers in the New Mexico Territorial Legislature wrote on his tombstone: “La Honra de Su Paíz-The Honor of His Homeland.”[1] 

Tradition preserved in the personal papers of his youngest brother Pascual Martinez[2] claims that Padre Martinez died repeating the Our Father.  The operative words in this context would be “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and the mutuality of forgiveness prayed for would be Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy. 

The 1877 Valdez biography[3] records the early life of Padre Martinez with several letters and documents, but says very little about his life after the arrival of Bishop Lamy.  The Pascual Martinez papers record that Padre José Lucero, his former student, good friend and pastor of the neighboring Arroyo Hondo parish attended Martinez upon his deathbed.  It is the common teaching of theologians that a person with good dispositions of love of God and sorrow for sin, and who receives the Church’s Last Rites–consisting of the sacraments of Penance, Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion– upon death, goes directly to heavenly glory.  A month before he died, Padre Martinez revised his Last Will and Testament[4] that gives us an insight into his dispositions.

I declare that during the forty-two years
of my spiritual administration in several parts of this Territory of New Mexico, and particularly in this County of Taos, I have complied with my ecclesiastical ministry with fidelity and good faith to the best of my knowledge that I could….My body shall descend tranquil to the silent grave, and my soul shall appear and go up to the Divine Tribunal with plain satisfaction that I have done all that I could to illuminate the minds of my fellow citizens causing them their temporal good, and above all, their spiritual benefit….My conscience is quiet and happy, and God knows this to be true.  If anyone of my fellow citizens and neighbors complains that I have injured them, it may have been through a mental error, but not with the intention of my heart, as human creatures are weak…  Nevertheless, I have never had any intention of injuring anyone, and by nature, I have been inclined to do good, so help me God. 

Bishop Zubiría of Durango attested to the high moral character of Padre Martinez. He visited Taos three times in his tenure of the far-flung diocese of Durango that included New Mexico as it was then constituted: Colorado, Arizona, Utah and parts of Texas and Wyoming.  When the bishop visited in 1833, he acceded to Padre Martinez request to begin a pre-seminary to prepare young men for further study in Durango.  Padre Martinez had begun an elementary school in 1826, and his seminary would morph into a law school after the American occupation in 1846. 

In 1840, Padre Martinez had spent a year on sabbatical in Durango, the see of the Archdiocese at the time (and for eleven more years to come).  He caught up with course work since, because of illness, he had left seminary after ordination in 1822 but before he finished some theology courses.  This became an impediment for promotion to a “permanent” pastorate, although since 1826 he had been “interim” pastor of the Taos Church (San Geronimo at the Pueblo and its main chapel Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the Plaza). After his year, he was formally appointed CURA DE TAOS, the title for which he has been known in history.

When the Bishop Zubiría visited again, for the third time, in 1845, he ratified Martinez’ appointment as an permanent pastor.[5]   “He not only approved the records of Padre Martinez, but even thanked him for his skill and energy in performing his duties as minister.  As a matter of recognition, he granted Padre Martinez additional privileges for his well deserved merits.”[6]  Appointing him as “Vicar and Ecclesiastical  Judge” of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish “and its districts”[7] of the northern region, Bishop Zubiría  also gave Padre Martinez the “special faculty and power to absolve…heretics and also to rehabilitate or to suspend, as he may deem proper and according to his conscience, any priest who may deserve to be rehabilitated or suspended.”[8] These special faculties were valid for a period of five years ending September 18, 1850.[9] 

Although he had more than his share of political enemies, Charles Bent chief among them because of disagreements about land use and ownership, Padre Martinez was nevertheless  held in very high regard by the majority of the people of Taos and all of New Mexico.  By contrast, Willa Cather, in her Pulitzer Prize winning novel[10]-–“the best novel ever about New Mexico”[11]—spoke for many of the Padre’s enemies[12] when she described the Padre as an ogre writhing in hell.  She may have been inspired to imagine Martinez there because of the inimical relation between Padre Martinez and the hero of the novel, a fictional and glorified version of Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy.  

In the fall of 1856, almost a decade before Martinez died, Lamy censured the Padre with Suspension whose vality Padre Martínez—ever the Canonist—legally challenged.  The following year, in the spring of 185, Bishop Lamy excommunicated Padre Martínez “with all of the required formalities…servatis servandi.”[13]  Here is how one author described the dramatic scene of the excommunication:

Machebeuf appeared in the Taos church [of
Our Lady of Guadalupe] to celebrate High Mass and to pronounce the excommunication.  Tension was almost tangible.  The church was filled, and the people stood outside to hear the ceremony and to watch each other, and to see
who had guns.  When time came for the
sermon, Mauchebuf explained the meaning of excommunication of which most people had no understanding except that it was the Church’s ultimate discipline; and then he read the instrument itself to a hushed congregation and finished the Mass…There was no disturbance, though everyone felt the precarious atmosphere…[14]

The “instrument” of excommunication, part of “all the required formalities,” was likely from the Roman Pontifical containing ceremonies used by a Bishop in the nineteenth century:

Since I, [Name of Bishop], having legitimately warned [him] for the first, second, third and fourth times of the malice for which he is being convicted for whatever he has done or not done,  and since he has shown contempt for fulfilling my command to renounce his contumacy,[15]  and since he is remaining stubborn [exigente] in his rebelliousness, I therefore excommunicate him with these written words:  By the authority of the omnipotent God Father, and the Son and Holy Spirit, and by the authority of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and all the Saints, I denounce him.  He is to be avoided [vitandus] for as long a time as it may take until he will have fulfilled what is mandated, in order that his spirit may be saved on the day of judgment.[16]

Joseph P. Mauchebeuf, Vicar General for Bishop Lamy and later first bishop of Denver, is the one who pronounced the excommunication, according to Howlett, author of Mauchebeuf’s biography. A couple of years later on July 1, 1860, Bishop Lamy himself came to Our Lady of Guadalupe parish to administer the sacrament of Confirmation to over 500
adults and children of the Jurisdiction of Taos.   He put this note in the book of Baptism records of the parish:

Since our last visit [to the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe] in August of 1855 until the present date, various pastors have succeeded in this Jurisdiction whom we had to move for grave and critical circumstances….It is our painful obligation to observe here that at the beginning of the year 1857, we had to punish with suspension Sñr. Cura Martinez for his grave and scandalous faults and for his publications against order and the discipline of the church. Regretfully, however, he did not pay attention to the censures, and before long, he began to say Mass, administer the sacraments, and to publish things even more scandalous.  We then saw ourselves obliged to excommunicate him, servatis servandis, with all of the required formalities.  Since that time, this unfaithful [infeliz] priest has done all in his power, and in a most diabolical manner, to provoke a schism in public as well as in private, pretending to say Mass, administer the sacraments, and thus
loosing a great number of souls. However,  in spite of this schism, the major part of the faithful remain on the side of order and of legitimate authority, as this book of entries proves…Thus it is that while some lose faith, because they have forsaken good works, others are strengthened in
procuring the good of souls and the glory of God.[17] 

Only God is judge of ultimate destiny. However, the passage of time and critical history helps to evaluate a person’s rightful place in the earthly hall of merits and accomplishments. Antonio José Martinez was a liminal man of both the church and of the nation.  His life was at the threshold of three distinct eras that spanned the history of New Mexico, under Spain (two and a quarter centuries), under Mexico (twenty-five years), and under the United States since 1846.  As an actor and positive contributor to each distinct epoch, he was on the threshold of each, and helped his people of New Mexico segue one to another, sometimes with pain and/or struggle.  He was a churchman, rancher, educator, journalist, printer, publisher, lawyer and politician who lived in a time of great transition.  He was a man of the people, and one of the great figures of New Mexican history.  Although there were shadows in his life, the light emanating from him far outshone any darkness.  Indeed, he was a luminary of this time, a renaissance man only now coming to be better and more widely appreciated. 

His ecclesiastical superiors held Antonio José Martinez in very high regard as a seminarian in Durango.  He excelled in his studies, especially in philosophy and canon law. Bishop Castañiza who ordained Martinez favored him, and even considered appointing him as a first assignment to La Parroquia, the principal parish in Santa Fe, precursor to the Cathedral.  Bishop Zubiría who succeeded Bishop Castañiza also recognized the talents of the priest of Taos and showed his appreciation of him on all three of his visits to Taos: in 1833, in 1845, and in 1850 on the eve of the great transition. 

On his third and last visit in 1850, barely a year before Bishop Lamy arrived in Santa Fe, Bishop Zubiría gave Padre Martinez special faculties that again showed his complete confidence in the Priest of Taos.  Among the faculties, ironically, was to absolve penitents from suspension and excommunication.

The mid 1840s encompassed the “transcendent epoch” that brought tumultuous changes to New Mexico.  The engine was Manifest Destiny, the U.S.-MEXICAN WAR was the powerful train that came into New Mexico in 1846.  Its caboose was the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and its railroad tracks continue to lead forward defining and shaping our own place and time.  Territories that had belonged to Spain since 1598, and then to Mexico since1821, now became territories of the United States of America. The political change affected church organizational structure.  By 1850, New Mexico was taken from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Durango in Mexico and became an Apostolic Prefecture under the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri in the United States until Santa Fe became its own Diocese and later Archdiocese.

The historic tension between France and Spain was a backdrop for the cultural clash that was to distance the new Vicar Apostolic Jean Baptiste Lamy from New Mexico’s native clergy that Padre Martinez helped so much to develop. The 1850 Council of Baltimore decided to bring the new US territory under American ecclesiastical sway.  They nominated French missionary J. B.  Lamy as first Vicar Apostolic of Santa Fe who was a French-born missionary serving as a parish priest in the diocese of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Arriving in New Mexico in July of 1851, he was destined to become the bishop of the new Santa Fe diocese.  His territory of New Mexico included what is now the state of New Mexico in addition to all of Arizona and Colorado and parts of Texas, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah. 

The initial encounters between Bishop Lamy and Padre Martinez were cordial, even warm and gracious.  Lamy seemed to genuinely appreciate the canonical acumen of Padre Martinez.  However, the pride and stubbornness of each soon began to show.  The conflict between them was, at its core, a conflict of culture more than of theology or morality.  The tension was expressed around issues concerning transition of power and authority.

One of the principal points of conflict between Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy was Lamy’s reinstitution of the practice of tithing.  In the European model of Church-State union, the government was responsible for maintaining the churches and paying salary to the clergy.  As early as 1829, eight years into the Mexican period, Padre Martinez already was objecting to the practice.  He stated it was a burden too heavy for poor people, and advocated for a change in policy.  By 1833, he was a member of the New Mexican legislature and—with the approbation of Bishop Zubiría—successfully advocated  for a change in the law that ultimately eliminated government-sponsored tithing.  Martinez promoted free will offerings in church.  

Bishop Lamy’s Pastoral Letter that initiated the renewed policy on tithing was written in December 1852, but it was not printed nor promulgated until early 1853.  When Bishop Lamy re-instituted tithing under pain of denial of Christian burial, [18] it seemed excessively harsh to Padre Martinez who publicly denounced it in the press, the Santa Fe Gaceta,  as “hucksterism” and “simony.”[19] The Pastoral ran counter to serious objections by several of the local clergy, and did not begin to be fully implemented until 1854.  The text of the Pastoral was a brief document of three pages with seven points dealing with routine liturgical and catechetical concerns.  The fifth and sixth seriously offending points tried to launch a fund raising campaign redounding to the economic hardship of clergy and faithful. Those faithful who did not comply were deprived from church burial.[20] In addition, the renewed  system of tithing reduced the income of the priests by about a third. 

Bishop Lamy in 1856 suspended Padre Martinez from celebrating Mass, preaching,  and hearing Confessions because of his public scandalous writings that attacked him in the public press. The Padre responded with a legalistic letter outlining why the suspension was invalid, because it lacked three canonical warnings.[21]  Padre Martinez was convinced of the invalidity of the suspension from his study of Canon Law,  in which he was a recognized expert, and from the church law books available to him.  However, Bishop Lamy, admittedly not all well versed in Canon Law,  may have been operating out of an understanding of church law based on different text.  There was a canon that permitted the legitimate suspension of a priest “on the basis of an informed awareness”  Jesuit canonist Ladislas Orsay brought this [ex consciencia informata] to the attention of Fr. Tom Steele, S.J. as a possible way Bishop Lamy wanted to deal with Padre Martinez in order to avoid even greater public scandal since the Padre was so widely respected by the people, it is supposed.  This was intended to give a bishop maximum latitude in censuring a priest whose circumstances of suspension the bishop might not want to make public for whatever reason.[22]

Almost a thousand people, including several Washington politicians, signed a letter complaining against Bishop Lamy and his Vicar Machebeuf.  Padre José Miguel Gallegos—after a serious tiff with Vicar J. P. Machebeuf, left active ministry and became a politician, the first Hispanic Congressman in the U.S.—drafted the letter and sent it to the Holy Father.  Although Gallegos orchestrated the letter of complaint to Pope Pius IX against Bishop Lamy and Vicar Machebeuf, these hierarchs may have held Padre Martinez responsible for having formed and influenced the former priest and pesky Congressman Gallegos.  I believe the embarrassment of Bishop Lamy and Vicar Machebeuf before the Holy See was one of the main events that triggered Martinez’ extreme disfavor with Bishop Lamy. 

Since 1852, people complained to Bishop that Vicar General Macebeuf was breaking the seal of Confession.  The Bishop told the people that he would take care of it, but did nothing. They again complained, this time with the suggestion they would go to higher authority. After being effectively dismissed, Señor Tomás Baca—with at least the passive consent of Padre Gallegos–helped to garner over 900 signatures of people complaining about Machebeuf’s behavior. 

Meanwhile, Bishop Lamy suggested to his Vicar General Joseph Prospectus Macebeuf that he consult with Padre Martinez about the canonical dimensions of the allegation of direct violation of the seal of Confession.  Martinez was at first disposed to believe that Machebeuf was guilty,  but may have been pleased to be consulted in the affair.  After hearing Machebeuf’s version of what happened, Padre Martinez wrote to Bishop Lamy that he “was satisfied”[23] with Machebeuf’s explanation.  Martinez asserted in his letter to Lamy that Machebeuf was most likely carried away with overzealous preaching, but was not actually guilty of “direct violation” of the Seal of Confession.  Ironically, this letter would be used get Machebeuf off the proverbially papal hook when the matter once again surfaced before Roman authorities in the summer of 1856. 

[Another Topic: Padre Gallegos]

binding.  (My emphasis)  What’s to re-examine?  It was an invalid act of excommunication.  There’s no such thing as rescinding an invalid act.  It is per se invalid …You can’t rescind an invalid act. …There is no evidence of any trial by peers, as was required by the Canon Law at the time, and there was no evidence of allowing Martinez to defend himself….He [Lamy] could very well not have been [aware of the procedure].  I think it would be very important [to publicly declare the excommunication invalid]….I’d think that it’s really important to rehabilitate him.…The much good that he did do should be honored….The importance of the rehabilitation of Padre Martinez is not for the person per se, but for what he symbolized.

Both baptism and funeral books of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Taos mention the excommunication.  Servite priest Father Albert Gallegos, New
Mexico native and PADRES pioneer, authored a chapter on the canonical dimensions of the excommunication in Ray John Aragon’s book Lamy and Martinez.  In his book But Time and Chance [Sunstone Press], Fray Angelico Chavez challenges the notion that there was any real excommunication of Padre Martinez, much less schism.  Anyone
excommunicated as a vitandus, i.e., one to be avoided or shunned, is supposed to have his name published in the Roman publication the Acta Apostolica Sedis.  Before the publication of that journal, the names of vitandi—those TO BE AVOIDED—would have been inscribed at the Vatican in the Second Section of the tomes in the library of the Secretariat of State.  I did a thorough search of all Martinez names in the 19th
century, and found several.  However, during my research  at the beginning of the Jubilee Year 2000, I found no mention of any excommunication of Padre A.J. Martinez of Taos in any of the three Vatican Archives: 1)  the archives of the Secretariat of State,  2) Secretariat of State-Segunda Seccione (a confidential section reserved for records of  high profile or political cases), and 3)  the Archives of the Propagation of the Faith, now called the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, that had jurisdiction over the United States during its missionary phase after Independence from England until the end of the nineteenth century. 

Notification of a formal excommunication  should have certainly been recorded in Rome, and most certainly in the archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  However, there is no record in either place, and this means that if there were any kind of an excommunication,  it had to have been a purely local affair that was kept private for pastoral reasons, and not promulgated. 

In an unprecedented moment on March 12, 2000, the First Sunday of Lent of the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II knelt in St. Peter’s Basilica, and said, “We humbly ask forgiveness.” The Holy Father’s words and gestures were “the most sweeping papal apology ever, repenting for the errors of his church over the last 2,000 years.”     In the name of the Church, he was asking forgiveness from God for key lapses which she has committed over the past two millennia.  While the Holy Father was leading the Catholic world in a communal examination of our collective historical conscience, he acknowledged that church followers had “violated the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and shown contempt for their cultures and religious traditions.”   (My emphasis) 

John Paul II continued, “The church of today and of always feels obligated to purify the memory of those sad episodes of every sentiment of rancor or rivalry.  (My emphasis) The jubilee becomes in this way for every occasion an opportunity for a profound conversion to the Gospel.  From the acceptance of divine forgiveness is born the duty to forgive one’s brothers and seek reciprocal reconciliation.”

Vatican theologians explained the Pope’s apology for past sins of the church by saying that although the responsibility for sin does not pass from one generation of people to the next, “the wounds created by sin do often linger and may require judgment and repentance back through history.” (My emhphasis)

Since he announced the Jubilee Year in his 1994 apostolic letter written to the Catholic world On Reconciliation, John Paul followed up that
important act of reconciliation with even more dramatic gestures, e.g., the posthumous nullification of the sixteenth century excommunication of the scientist Gallileo.  More recently, there was a statement of reconciliation with pioneer Protestant John Hus. 

In sympathetic ceremonies held in cathedrals throughout the Catholic world, bishops made similar acts of repentance on March 12, 2000 and specified them according to their own local histories.  In Santa Fe, Archbishop Michael Shean asked forgiveness for sins against the American Indian, women, and black peoples.  However, there was no
specific apology for the systematic reduction of the native clergy soon after the American occupation in the mid nineteenth century.  Several were suspended from functioning in their ministry.  Padre Martinez, who in spite of his brilliance and long legacy of priestly service to his people, ended his life alienated from his bishop and excommunicated from the church.  The church is holy, but is stained by the
sins of its children, and requires “consant purification.”  The “new evangelization” for which the Pope has been calling in this third millennium can take place only after there be a church-wide “purification of memory.” 
“One of the characteristic elements of the great jubilee is purification of memory,” [Emphasis mine] stated Pope John Paul II.  “…in this year of mercy, the church, strengthened by the holiness that she receives from her Lord, kneels before God and begs for forgiveness for past and present sins of her sons….We forgive and we ask forgiveness!….”

Lynn Bridgers wrote in DEATH’S DECEIVER, The Life of Joseph P. Machebeuf [1997 University of New Mexico Press – Albuquerque, pp. 268] wrote the following about the historical relationship between the French and Spanish that I believe is accurate and interesting background for the relationship between Martinez and Lamy:

A legacy of mutual distrust between the Spanish and the French served as the rocky river bed over which many Anglo and Hispanic conflicts flowed.  With the arrival of Lamy and Machebeuf, the French seemed to have accomplished ecclesiastically what they were unable to do militarily, moving their sphere of influence from the French lands of the Louisiana Purchase into traditionally Spanish-dominated New Mexico….Machebeuf’s personal views of Hispanic culture reflect a long complex process of maturation.  His early work was sometimes darkened by ignorance and misconceptions about New Mexico’s Hispanic Catholicism, but by the end of his life he had grown far beyond mere tolerance, to a deep love and respect for the Spanish-speaking people of the American Southwest. 

On February 3, 1869, a year and a half after the death of Padre Martinez,  Bishop Lamy reported on progress of vocations to his mentor Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati. Lamy mentions a “schism” in Taos, but makes no mention of  any excommunication that is supposed to have taken place the Sunday after Easter  in 1858 or at any other time.  In an obiter dictum, Lamy mentions “a Schism” that Padre Martinez “made” (sicin 1860.  Lamy tells Purcell of the “Mission Jesuit
priest Father Gaspari was giving in Taos where “the unfortunate Martinez made a Schism that Lasted seven years [1860-1867] until the death of this said poor priest…. Most of the people, except some of his nearest relatives are coming back to obedience, and the mission which is producing a great change which leaves very few…”  
However, Lamy does not refer to any excommunication.  

Was an excommunication actually  made?  Was the prior suspension “secret,” i.e., ex consciencia informata, as some opine? Father Tom Steele, S.J. refers to Jesuit canonist Ladislaus Orsay in reference to the ecclesiastical penalty of “suspension from divine things” (celebrating Mass, preaching, hearing confessions).   Under certain circumstances, a bishop—without making it public—could invoke suspension of official license or faculties (permission) for a priest to act publicly in his diocese.  There would have to be good reason for a bishop to not make a suspension public, and it would need to be “from an informed conscience”  and for some greater good.  Nevertheless, it remains curious that Bishop Lamy did not ever publicly mention an excommunication of Padre Martinez  to episcopal peers or to family, to whom he often wrote about those pesky native  New Mexican priests.  Lamy does not mention the phrase about excommunication that he twice wrote in the parish books (Funerals and Baptism) of  the Taos church:  “…excommunication [of the unfortunate (infelíz) priest]…with all the required formalities…servatis servandis.

[12] Padre

Martinez made enemies with Charles Bent and his partners when he tangled with
them about land grant issues.

[13]Marginal
Note in Baptismal Register of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Taos for July 1,
1860, p. 143.  My translation.

[14] Paul
Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe, Faraar, Strauss, Giroux, NT, c. 1975, pp.
243-44.  Original source, Howlett
(through Father Ussell),  Life of Bishop J.P. Macebeuf, First Bishop
of Denver
.  The dramatic scene of excommunication
was first described in Memories, the
journal of Father Gabriel Ussel who was the third successor of Padre Martinez
as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Taos, and a purported eyewitness
of the event.  Howlett  quoted Ussel as one of his sources for the
Machebuf biography, and others have followed suit: Twitchell,  Leading
Facts of New Mexico
History;
Romero, Reluctant Dawn, p. 1; Father
Tom Steele, S.J. in “View from the Rectory” in New Perspectives From Taos published by Millicent Rogers Museum, p.
99 n.3; Lynn Bridgers (embellished the account of the excommunication in her
biography of Bishop Machebeuf) in her first footnote Death’s Deceiver, 1997 University of New Mexico Press, refers to
Father Gabriel Ussel’s journal Memories.  He was the French priest who was the third
the succeed Padre Martinez at Guadalupe Church in Taos within three years.

[15] Contumacy is
defined as flagrant disobedience or rebelliousness, or persistent refusal to
obey without good reason.

[16]From the Roman
Pontifical used in the 19th Century, Ordo Excommunicandi et Absolvendi, The Rite of Excommunicating and
Absolving, edited by order of Benedict XIV and Leo XIII.  It was made available to me through the
courtesy of Pat Lyons, Librarian, St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, California.

[17] My translation
of marginal note in Baptismal Register
of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Taos for July 1, “Fifth Sunday After
Pentecost,” 1860, p. 143. Father Gabriel Ussel was the pastor of Taos when
Bishop Lamy came to celebrate the sung Pontifical Mass for the
Confirmands.  He had not visited the
parish since 1855, five years prior when Padre Martnez was still in
charge.  On this visit, the bishop
confirmed over 500 adults and children who were part of the jurisdiction of
Taos.  Spanish text is in appendix.

[18] Christmas
Letter of 1852-53.

[19] Letter of
Padre Martinez to Bishop Lamy, printed in the Gaceta of Santa Fe.

[20] The two most offensive provisions of the 1852 Christmas
Pastoral that Padre Martinez cited:

1) “The
faithful of this territory… will know that we have taken away from the priests
every faculty to administer the sacraments and give church burial to the heads
of families that refuse to faithfully hand over the tithes that are their
due.” 

2) “From
February 1, 1854, triple the parish assessment will be charged for the
administration of the sacraments of baptism, matrimony and of church burial
from those faithful who belong to families that do not fulfill the fifth
Precept of the Church [to contribute to the support of the Church].”

[21] Archives of
the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Letter of Padre Martinez writing from Taos to
Bishop Lamy in Santa Fe, Ocober 24, 1857. This letter succeeds Padre Martinez’
prior missive sent to the bishop the previous year, November 12 1856.  It again outlines the principal grievances,
and asserts Padre Martinez as “cura
proprio
,” i.e. as an irremovable pastor” who is “free of suspension.”  The various grievances or “excesses of the
bishop” are presented.  They include the
following:

1)    the
1851-1854 Pastoral Letter;

2)    the
suspension and take-over of Padre Gallegos’ Albuquerque house;

3)    the
suspension of ex-vicar Padre Juan Felipe Ortiz of Santa Fe whose house and
property was divided (although ultimately reimbursed); and

4)    the
Bishop’s alleged sale of church property—the Castrense or military chapel at
the edge of the Santa Fe chapel. 

Padre Martinez, with some delusion, also made other
un-winnable “demands”:

1) revocation of the Pastoral
Letter of January 14, 1854, because it is against the spiritual health of the
people;

2) the admission that he,
Padre Martinez, is not really suspended for lack of the three warnings; and

3) the recognition that Padre
Martinez is still the priest in charge of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, i.e.
the cura proprio, since he is an “irremovable
pastor;”

4) that the Bishop remove
Father Damaso Taladrid, and send another assistant priest.  When these demands are met, Padre Martinez
says he will consider retiring.  

[22] Father Tom Steele, S.J., academic and premier New Mexico
historian, makes a case for suspensio ex
consciencia informata
. Respected Jesuit theologian and canon lawyer ,
Ladislas Orsy, brought that to the attention of Father Steele as a
possibility.  This would be a bishop’s
suspension of a priest that would prevent him from exercising his priestly
ministries.  This woud not be done
because of anything in the external forum, but because of the bishop’s
“informed and aware consciousness” that the priest is involved in some
nefarious dealings that the bishop might not want to make the public in order
to “avoid scandal” in the church or for some other proportionate reason.  According to this line of thought, Bishop
Lamy’s suspension might indeed have been valid.
However, it is difficult to uphold or deal with that in the external
forum of law.  The (schismatic) Council
of Pistoia and the Counter-Reformation Council of Trent treated the notion of suspensio ex consciencia informata, but
it was not commonly used nor even recognized.
It may have been in some moral theology or canon law books, but not
those of Padre Martinez.  The universal
body of canon laws binding the Catholic Church in the west was not,
surprisingly, formally codified until 1917, in the 20th
century.   It should not be such a great
surprise, then, that Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy may  have been dependent upon differing law texts.
Twenty years after the Second Vatican Council, in 1985, there was a major
revision of the Code of Canon Law that leaves no trace of ecclesistical censure
ex conscincia informata.

[23] Horgan, p. __.

[24] Gallegos used
his position as Democratic Congressman in Washington to orchestrate for Pope
Pius IX a letter of complaints against Bishop Lamy and Vicar Machebuf.  In January of 1856, thirty-seven Legislators
of Territory of New Mexico signed the letter of complaints. In April 1856, they
sent it to the Holy Father from Washington, D.C. with a cover letter signed by
Congressman Gallegos.

[25] “This pastoral
seems to have provoked all this opposition…started by some priests of bad
fame…and who easily find followers among the ignorant and vicious people.  The main author of these claims is a certain
Gallegos, parish priest at Albuquerque who was scandalously living with a woman
of bad reputation.  Since he proved to be
incorrigible, he was interdicted by Mons. Lamy himself, and now is a parliament
member at Washington for the State of New Mexico.  The same [incorrigiblity] is declared, more
or less, about the other priests who signed the claim against Mons. Lamy.”

[26] My emphasis,
but the phrase belongs to the secretary-archivist accurately paraphrasing
Machebeuf’s negative value-judgment.

[27] Ibid.
The auditors of the Propagation of the Faith presented Father Machebeuf
with the documentation of allegations the Holy Father had received from
ex-Padre-turned-Congressman Gallegos writing from Washington, D.C.  The cover letter and documentation was
accompanied by signatures of over nine hundred Catholic faithful (!) including
thirty-four legislators of New Mexico. 

[28] Vatican
secretary-archivist’s summary of Father J. P. Machebeuf’s defense in Rome,
Letter #12 for year 1856-57 in Letters
and Documents of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
.

[29] Horgan, Lamy of Santa Fe, p. ___.

[30] Horgan, p.
229.  The author of Lamy of Santa Fe continues, “and he has never failed in a show of personal respect [my emphasis] towards
the bishop…[but]…we are sure public opinion is against him.”  The “public opinion” to which
Machebeuf referred referred to that of new comers who became enemies of the
controversial Padre.  Padre Martinez was
Bishop Lamy’s most “formidable” adversary because he was the
“most intelligent and even least corrupt.”  (Horgan, p. 219)  Nevertheless, Padre Martinez continued to
remain greatly loved and exceedingly popular among the greatest number of native
peoples.

[31] Ibid.p. 219.

[32] Ibid.

[33] He was the
father of his legitimate daughter María de La Luz born c. 1819, and whose
mother died in childbirth.  After Antonio
José went to the seminary in Durango, the young girl was given to the care of
her maternal grandparents.  She herself
died at the tender age of 12.  Two other
children merit special mention: Santiago Valdez (AKA Marquez/Martinez), author
of the 1877 biography of the priest, and Vicente Ferrer Romero who became a
pioneer Presbyterian evangelist.

[34] E. K. Francis,
“Padre Martinez: A New Mexican Myth,” New
Mexico Historical Review
(Vol. XXXI, No. 4 – October 1956, p 289.

[35] He was also
the author of a biography of the Padre Sanchez, Memorias del Presbítero Antonio José Martinez, Cura de Taos, printed
in 1904.

[36] Interview with Max Cordova de Truchas, AMIGOS, Volumen XII,
Nivel III, #2 © 2001 Semos Unlimited, Inc., Santa Fe NM 87505. My translation
form Spanish.

[37] I Cor.
1:11-13.

[38] Cf. Newspaper ____ in Taos Research
Center, Nita Murphy.  Archbishop Sanchez
asked canon lawyer Lucien Hendren to begin investigation of procedure.  It seems that “Angelico Chavez advised the
Archbishop against that course of action, I do not know why.”  (Msgr. Jerome Martinez in conversation with
Fr. Juan Romero, c. 2004.)  In January
1993, on the occasion of the funeral of Father Mike O’Brien in Mora, Archbishop
Sanchez told me he was once again prepared to take up the cause.  However, he was soon thereafter retired.

[39] Msgr. Jerome
Martinez made the statement on October 1, 2001 in Santa Fe without
qualifications to filmmaker Paul Espinosa of Espinosa Productions.  Interview transcribed by Marisa Espinosa.
[jerome.doc] Monsignor Martinez stated that an ideal time to have done this
would have been during the Jubilee Year 2000.  He also mentioned that Fray Angelico Chavez
advised Archbishop Sanchez against making a public statement as to the
invalidity of the excommunication. 

[40] Ibid.

[41]Sate
Historical Archives, made available from Al Pulido.

[42] Ibid., p. 58

[43]In a
picture taken in 1903, Vicente F. Romero (Lic.), is seen as one of sixteen  “Native Mexican Workers,” clergy and/or lay
evangelists for the Presbyterian Faith.
Others identified include Tomas Atencio (#9 – student of Chimayo/Dixon),
Rev. Gabino Rendón (#13 of Santa Fe), and Rev. José Yñes Perea (#15 of
Pajarito).  Cf. Our Mexicans by the Rev. Robert M. Craig, NY, Board of Home
Missions of the Presbyterian Church, 1904, p. 102.]

[44]
Document of the Presbyterian Church, from Al Pulido.    

PADRE MARTINEZ AND THE U.S. MEXICAN WAR

The Taos Uprising of January-February 1847, with the assassination of Charles Bent, New Mexico’s first governor under the United States, was a significant flashpoint in the NM theatre of the US-Mexican War.  In my article on Padre Martínez in Seeds of Struggle, Harvest of Hope published by LDP Press, I treat the role of Padre Martinez in the aftermath of the events around Taos in early 1847.   New Mexico Mercury published an excerpt from Benjamin Read’s Guerra Mexico Americano that he wrote in Spanish in 1910 from his unique perspective as a native New Mexican born of an Anglo father and Hispanic mother.   In this excerpt, Chapter 17 of my English translation of Guerra Mexico Americana  that I hope to be fully published, Benjamin Read writes about Padre Martínez and others involved in the conflict.

GUERRA MEXIO AMERICANA; POPE IN BRAZIL; BABY GEORGE




GUERRA MEXIO AMERICANA

Benjamin Maurice Read,
pioneer native New Mexican historian, in 1910 wrote from his perspective a history
of the US-Mexican War waged from the occupation of Santa Fe by US forces on
August 18, 1846 to the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848.  A century and a half after the occupation, my
Uncle Tom (my father’s younger brother by seven years) helped me translate
eleven chapters from Spanish to English. 
Recently, Antonio José Martínez (it’s no accident this Harvard-trained
lawyer for Amazon Books has the same name as the famous Cura de Taos) nudged me
hard to finish the work.  With the help
of his father Vicente, with whom I have for years been collaborating about the
Padre, the work of translation is almost completed.  UNM Press has shown interest in publishing it.
Stay tuned!



POPE FRANCIS IN BRAZIL
  For the past six weeks, I have been helping to celebrate Masses at Big Bear Lake,
CA (almost the same altitude as Taos!) while the pastor has been away.  It has been a welcome relief from the
desert’s summer heat where I reside, but am now returning to help out at a
parish in Cathedral City. 

 This past weekend has been
especially busy for me: four weekend Masses and two sessions of Confessions
that is pretty routine.  What made it “busier” than usual, but at
the same time so JOYFUL and ENJOYBLE, was trying to keep up with Pope Francis
and the THREE MILLION PLUS young people with him in Brazil.  What an
extraordinary event!  Through the miracle
of wi-fi and computer, I was able to keep tabs on what was happening.  My
guardian angel woke me before 5 AM on Sunday, on time to watch what led up to
the Mass and its celebration on Copacabana Beach below the giant image of
Christ the King.  I was reminded of the final scene in Slum Dog
Millionaire that has about a hundred young people doing a dance routine between
two long lines of stationary railroad cars.  MULTIPLY THAT to equal
3,000,000 plus!  Before the liturgy began, Pope Francis viewed that choreographed
homage from a TV in the sacristy.  All banners were lowered, and a
reverential silence ensued immediately preceding the Mass.

  The Pope’s most historic and well-received visit to Brazil was strong in both
style, but more importantly in substance.  I commend Canadian Catholic
media outlet Salt and Light for their
excellent live coverage in the U.S. and throughout the English-French speaking
world and beyond http://saltandlighttv.org/live/

   (Not unrelated Congratulations
to the parents of the newly born royal baby! 
By the way, the infant has the same
name
(besides that of several of his ancestors) as our new American pope (from the continent of America) given at
his baptism—JORGE that means Geroge.

  A few coming dates important to me personally:

August 31 – my 75th birthday; October 23 – my dad’s hundredth birthday; he died in 1996; April 30, 2014 – my 50th anniversary as a priest

E-mail
address for The Taos Connection: juanrvi@aol.com

 

ST. KATERI TEKAKWITHA





 by

Fr.
Juan Romero

 

Today—October 21, 2012—ten
days after the Golden Jubilee of the Second Vatican Council and the opening of
the Year of Faith,  Kateri Tekakwitha was
officially canonized a saint.  Together
with her, Pope Benedict XVI also declared six others saints. I was privileged
to be among a crushing throng of thousands in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Saint Kateri, “Lily of the
Mohawks,” was born of an Algonquin mother and Mohawk chief in what is today
upstate New York near the Canadian border. 
She is the first native American to be canonized.  Both of her parents died by the time she was
four, and Kateri died from smallpox in 1680 at the young age of 24.

I learned today from an
eastcoaster that her name is properly pronouced KATeri.  His companion commented it was a case of potaaato/potahto.  From a NY Times article, I also learned that
Tekakwitha was a nick-name given her after she became partially blind from
smallpox.  It means “She who bumps into
things.”

It is not a stretch to connect
St. Kateri to New Mexico.  My affection
for her is related to my roots there, and my love for the Taos Pueblo and its
people.  Corina Santistevan, New Mexican
historian and preservationist, as well as one of my special mentors, has
greatly promoted devotion to Kateri in the north (of NM) where love for the new
saint has increased in recent years. 
Kateri’s canonization comes toward the end of this year that began on
January 6 with the centennial celebration of New Mexico as a State of the Union.  It had been a Territory of the United States
since its military occupation in 1846. 

It seems super-ironic to me
that St. Kateri Tekakwitha died in 1680, the same year in which took place the
only successful rebellion of Native Americans against Europeans, Spanish
settlers. Popé, a talented shaman, linguist and warrior from Ohkay Owingeh
Pueblo, coordinated the uprising beginning in Taos. Spanish colonists in 1598 had
named the Pueblo San Juan, and Popé is clearly to be distinguished from “the
pope.”  The settlers were driven south
toward the El Paso area and beyond, but returned thirteen years later, somewhat
chastened and having learned to live in peace with the original
inhabitants.  May Kateri intercede today for
all peoples to live toether in peace in spite of cultural and religious
differences. 

I see Kaeri as a “suffering
servant type,” and a figure of reconciliation. 
She died of a disease unknown to Indians before the coming of the White
man, and in that sense—although herself innocent—took our burdens upon
herself. 

I also see her as a liminal
person, one of the saints of the American continent who unites people across
borders.  Her mother introduced her to
her Catholic faith. Faithful to it, she studied it as a young woman and was
baptized at eighteen.  Ridicued for her
fatih, she moved to Canada where Catholics claim her as their own, as well as
people of the entire American continent including the United States, Central
and South America.  After more than five
centuries of evangelization in the new world of America, and four centuries
after her death, she is the first “Native American” to finally be canonized.

Today I salute the people of
the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians with whom I have been privileged to
work. The Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Palm Springs this last December celbrated
the centennial Cahuilla Indians donated land to the Catholic Church through the
Bishop of San Diego.

As we begin this Year of
Faith, fifty years after the Second Vatican Council was inaugurated, may Saint
Kateri Tekakwitha help us to grow in our Catholic faith and to be conscious
agents of the “new evangelization.”

Padre Antonio José Martínez