Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/294

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MEXICO


252


MEXICO


habitants. The two fish swimming in the water sig- of the tenth or eleventh century, who, on one of their nify, besides the fact that they were saved, that all men -bold voyages of adventure, accidentally discovered were transformed into Tlacamichin, fish-people, ae- this new land or,shipwrecked inlhc (lull, drifted to the cording to the Aztec tradition. In the midst of the coa.st of Panuco. Christian traditions, above all that waters floats a hollow wooden canoe, Acalli, occupied of the veneration of the Cross, date in Analuiac and by a man and a woman, the only privileged pair to Yucatan from the coming of Quotzalcoatl. In Yuca-


escape the disaster. The goddessChalchiuhtlique, as though descending from the heavens in a flash of lightning, surrounded liy her symbols of rain and water, presides over the scene. The date of the Deluge is marked ai the right with the sign Matlac- tliatl of the month .Vtenioztli (3 January); the dura- tion of the flood is marked by the sign to the left


tan the followers of Francisco Hernandez tie Cordoba fouiul crosses which were the object of adoration. With regarti to the Cross of Cozumel, the Indians said that a man more resplendent than the sun had died upon it. The Mayas preserveil a rite suggestive of baptism and confession, and among the Totonacos an imitation of communion was practised, the bread


Each major circle finished with a feathered end, equals which was used was called Toyolliaitlacual, i. e., food

400, and each minor circle indicates a unit, so that to- of our soul. Crosses were also found in Querdtaro,

gether they equal 400S years. Tepic, Tianguistepec, and Metztitlan.

(4) Tower of Babel. — In the commentary on the No better authority can be cited, in connexion with

Vatican manuscript mention is made of the epocli after the famous Cross of Palenque, which is herewith repro-

Atonatiuh, that Ls the Deluge, when giants inhabited d\ice<l than the learned archaeologist, Orozco y Berra.

the earth, and of the giant Xelhua, who, after the He says: "The civilization indicated by the ruins of

waters had subsided, went to CholoUan, where he be- Palenque and of Yucatan, differs in every respect, lan-

gan to Iniild the great {lyramid out of huge bricks of guage, writing, architecture, dress, customs, habits,

sun-baked clay (adobes), made in Tlalmanalco at the and theogony, from that of the .4ztecs. If there are

base of the Cocotl mountain, and conveyed to the site some points of resemblance they can be traced to the


of the pyramids by hand. A line of men extended from place to place, and t he bricks were passed from hand to hand. The gods, seeing that the pyramid tlireat- ened to touch the sky, were displeased and rained down fire from the heavens, destroying many and dispersing the rest. (5) Confusion of Tongues.— Teocipactii and Yochiquetzal, the man and woman who were saved from the flood, accordingto the Aztec tradition, landed on the moun- tain of Colhuacan.


TEdClPACTLI AND YoCHIQUETZAL SAVED FROM THE FlOOD

Hieroglyphic from Vatican Aztec Codex


epoch of Kukulcan, when there was some intercourse between the two nations. There is also histor- ical proof that the Cross of Palenque is of much more an- cient origin than that of the Toltecs. From this it may be in- ferred that the Cross of Palenque does not owe its origin to the same source as the crosses of Mexico and Cozumel, that is, to the coming of Kukul- can, or Quetzalcoatl, antl consequently has no Christian signifi- cance such as those had . 1 1 seems to be of .\mong the Tzapotecs and Mijes


They had many children, but they were all dvmib until Buddhistic origin. "

a dove from the branches of a tree taught them to of the .State of Oaxaca there is also a very distinct speak. Their tongues, however, were so diverse that tradition about Pecocha, who came from the West, they could not understand one another. landing in Huatulco aljout the sixth century. He is ChrLstian Traditions. — In the liLstory of the na- said to have planted a cross there, and to have taught tions of ancient Mexico the coming of Quetzalcoatl the Indians the veneration they should have for this marks a dLstinct era. He was said to have come from symbol. This cross is still preserved in the cathedral the Province of Pdnuco, a white man, of great stature, of Oaxaca, the claims for its authenticity resting on broad brow, large eyes, long black hair, rounded beard, the mo.st thoroughly respectable tradition, and upon and dressed in a tunic covered with black and red documents that have legal as well as canonical weight, crosses. Chaste, intelligent, and just, a lover of peace, It may not be out of place here to make some men- versed in the sciences and arts, he preached by his tion of the songs and prophecies which existed among example and doctrine a new religion which inculcated the Indians before the coming of the .Spaniards, fasting and penance, love and reverence for the Divin- Quetzalcoatl had predicted the coming of a strange ity, practise of virtue, and hatred of vice. He pre- race, and when the .Spaniards landed the natives re- dictedthatin the course of time white men with Ijeards, ceived them as the long expected messengers whose like himself, would come from the East, would take coming had been predicted to them. In Yucatan, possession of their country, overthrow their idols, and long before the coming of the Spaniards, the poet Pat-


establish a new religion. Expelled from Tollan, he sought refuge in CholoUan, but, being pursued even here by the Tollans, he passed on to Yucatan, where, under the name of Kukulcan, he repeated the predic- tions he had made in .Vnahuac, introduced the venera-


zin-Yaxun-Chan had thus addressed the people: "O Itzalanos! hate your gods, forget them for they are finite, adore the God of truth, who is omnipotent , and the creator of all things. " The high priest of Tixca- cayon, (!auch, said: "There shall come the sign of a


tion of the Cro.ss, and preached ChrLstian doctrine, god who dwells on high, and the cross which illumined

Later he .set sail from theCulf of .Mexico, going towards the world shall be made manifest; the worship of false

the ea.st, to his own land, as he himself said. The god.s shall cease. Your father comes, O ItzalanosI

opinion of ancient writers that this person was the your brother comes, O ItzalanosI receive your

Apostle Saint Thom.as is now universally rejected, bearded guests from the East, who come to bring the

and the most probable explanation of the identity of sign of God. God it is who comes to us, meek and

Quetzalcoatl is that he was an Icelandic or Norse priest holy. "