Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Fray Juan Bautista

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Born at Mexico, 1555; date of death unknown, but probably between 1606 and 1615. He joined the Franciscans in his native city, and taught theology and metaphysics at the convent of St. Francis of Mexico. He was also a definitor of the province, and became Guardian of Tezcuco twice (1595 and 1606), of Tlatelolco (1600), and of Tacuba in 1605. Although born at Mexico, he did not at first care to familiarize himself with the language of the Mexican Indians who formed the main part of the population among which he had been born and raised. He looked with indifference on the Nahuatl, the language of the so-called Aztecs. But after joining the Franciscans and becoming acquainted with the educational work going on through the Church among the Indians he willingly listened to the representations of older members of the order, and soon acquired a thorough knowledge of the idiom. A number of his works are known by title only. Ten of these were written in the Nahuatl language, previous to 1607; several were printed at Mexico.

Mendieta, Historia eclesiastica Indiana (finished in 1599 but first published by Yeazbalceta, Mexico, 1870); Juan de Torquemada, Los veinte y uno Libros Rituales y Monarchia Indiana con el origen y guerras de los Indios occidentales (first ed., Madrid, 1613; 2d ed., ibid., 1725); Pinelo, Epitome (2d ed., Madrid, 1737-58); Nicolas Antonio, Biblioteca Hispana nova (Madrid, 1766), II; Joaquin Garcia Ycazbalceta, Bibliografia mexicana del Siglo XVI (Mexico, 1886).

AD. F. BANDELIER