Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 11.djvu/729

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PEREZ


C65


PERFECTION


two friars, who always remained faithful. Navarrete, indeed, claims that Columbus in this passage spoke of Perez, the Franciscan, and Diego de Deza, the Domin- ican. As the latter was Bishop of Palencia when the naviixator wrote his letter, and Columbus on all other occasions spiaks of him as Bishop of Palencia, or lord bisli.i]), ii would seem strange that in this one instance he sliould omit the title. Deza aided Columbus to the best of his aliility among the scientists of Salamanca; but lie could not pre\'ent the adverse decision of the Spanish Coiut. It was Juan Perez who persuaded the na\'igator not to leave Spain without consulting Isa- Ijella, when, footsore and dispirited, he arrived at La Rabida, determined to submit his plan to the King of France. At the invitation of the queen, Perez made a journey to Santa F6 for a personal interview with her. As a result Columbus was recalled, and with the assistance of Cardinal Mendoza and others his de- mands were finally granted.

When the navigator at last on 3 August, 1492, set sail in the Santa Maria, Perez blessed him and his fleet. Some writers assert that Perez ac- companied his illus- trious friend on the first voyage, but the silence of Columbus on this point renders the claim improba- ble. It appears cei- tain, however, thit Perez joined his friend on the second voyage in 1493. The earliest and best writers also agree that when the second expedition reached Haiti, Father Perez celebrated the hist Mass in the New World at Point Con- ception on 8 Dec , 1493, in a temporar> structure; that this was the first church in America; and that Father Perez preserved the Blessed Sacrament there. He also became the guar- dian of the first convent which Columbus ordered to be erected at Santo Domingo. There all trace of him is lost. Whether he returned to La Rdbida or died in America is uncertain. All we know is that, in the legal dispute between Diego and Columbus, the royal fiscal, Dr. Garcia Hernandez, testified in l.'jlS that Father Perez was then dead.

Go.NZAGA, Dc Origine Seraphicm Retigionis Franciscantp, II (Rome, 1.5S7); Las Casas, Historia de las Indias (Madrid, 1875); Daza, Crmira general (Valladolid, 1611); Olmo, Arbol Serafico (Barcelona. 170;i); Melendez, Tesoros Verdaderos de las Indias (Rome, ICSll: Harold. Epitome Annahnm Ordinis Minorum (Roinr, l(;r,J; f-.ii, (•,,/> V r.i Frhih, 'Madrid, 1892); Irvinq, Lijr „,„l 1.., I ' '■ ' '■'- (New York, 186S);

Tari.i,.]./ , , . ■ I Hrownson (Detroit,

1891); CiM //v, .','... ( , , , \ I :.,,,,.-. 1861); Clarke, Old

and New Li„l,l.^ „„ < ,Anml,u., ,.\r»i \ oi k, 1893).

Zephyrin Engelhaudt.

Perez deHita, Gin^s, Spanish writer, b. at Murcia. Little is known of his life except that he lived during the second ludf of the sixteenth century, and probably took ))art in campaigns against the Moors in 1.560 and following years. The work that has made him famous is his "Guerras civiles de Granada". It is in reality two separate works, dealing with events and persons separated in point of time by more than half a century. The first, when it was printed, contained the following note: "History of the Zegries and Aben- cerrages, Moorish bands of Granada; of the civil war which occurred at Vega between the Christians and


the Moors, and was won by King Ferdinand \' now newly published in an Arabic book, the author of which is a Moor named Aben-Hamin of Granada; translated into Spanish by Ciines Perez" (Zaragoza, 159.5; Valencia, 1597). Not even the Arabic origin of this book is genuine nor is it a real history, but merely a novel founded upon fact. Perez de Hita did not live when the Moors were in the height of their power in Granada, but, as he served in cam- paigns against the Moors, he was able to study their customs and ideas, and witness the remains of their glory. The second work deals with the Moorish up- rising, and was published at Barcelona in 1619. This part passed through many editions, among which the later ones are that published in Madrid, 1833, and the one forming part (vol. Ill) of " La Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles " of Rivadeneira. The first may be characterized as an historical novel, while the sec- ond may be called a history partaking of the nature of the novel. A striking peculiarity of PcTez de Hita is that he uses the language of to-day, and we look almost in vain for an archaic form. The phraseology is modern, and the dic- tion is pure, terse, and sonorous.

Buenaventura Car- los Aribau in Biblioteca de Autores Espafioles, III (Madrid, 1848). V ENTURA FUENTES.

Perfection,

( IIRISTIAN AND Re-

I 1 lous. — A thing is I ( rf ect in which nothing is wanting I its nature, pur- I ose, orend. It may I I perfect in nature, \tt imperfect inas- much as it has not \ et attained its end, whether this be in the same order as it- self, or whether, by the will of God and His gratuitous liberality, it be entirely above its nature, i. e. in the supernatural order. From Revelation we learn that the ultimate end of man is supernatural, consisting in union with God here on earth by grace and hereafter in heaven by the beatific vision. Perfect union with God cannot be attained in this life, so man is imperfect in that he lacks the happiness for which he is destined and suffers many evils both of body and soul. Perfection there- fore in its absolute sense is reserved for the kingdom of heaven .

Chrlstian Perfection is the supernatural or spir- itual union with God which is possible of attainment in this life, and which may be called relative perfec- tion, compatible with the absence of beatitude, and the presence of human miseries, rebellious passions, and even venial sins to which a just man is hable without a special grace and privilege of God. This perfection consists in charity, in the degree in which it is attainable in this life (Matt., xxii, 36-40; Rom., xiii, 10; Gal., v, 14; I Cor., xii, 31, and xiii, 13). This is the universal teaching of the Fathers and of theologians. Charity unites the soul with God as its supernatural end, and removes from the soul all that is opposed to that union. "God is charity; and he that abideth in charity abideth in God, and God in him" (I John, iv, 16). Suarez explains that per- fection can be attributed to charity in three ways: (] ) suhslantinlh/ or essentially, because the essence of union with God consists in charity for the habit as well as for the endeavour or pursuit of perfection; (2)