Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Tecto, Juan de

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TECTO, Juan de, Flemish missionary, b. in Ghent in 1468; d. in Honduras in 1526. He was graduated as D. D. in Paris, and was for several years professor of theology in the Sorbonne university, and afterward chaplain of Emperor Charles V., and guardian of a convent of Franciscans at Ghent. In 1522 he obtained from Charles V., who was much attached to him, permission to go to the New World, and fixed his residence at Texcoco, where he founded missions for the Indians and learned their language. He accompanied Cortes in his expedition to Hibueras in 1525, and as, owing to the rebellion of Cristobal de Olid, no provisions were obtainable, Tecto, exhausted, fell behind the army, and was found later by a patrol leaning against a tree, where he had died of hunger. According to Bernal Diaz del Castillo, he was sent by Cortes to report to the emperor about the conquest of Hibueras, and died at sea, off the coast of Spain. Tecto is the author of two valuable works: “Primeros rudimentos de la doctrina Cristiana en lengua Mexicana,” a manuscript which was utilized by Fray Pedro de Gante for his “Catecismo Mexicano”; and “Apología del bautismo administrate á los gentiles Mexicanos con sola el agua y la forma Sacramental,” which is cited by Torquemada in his “Monarquía Indiana.”