Anthony Montesino
? - 1545

A brief biography.

The date of birth of the Spanish missionary Anthony Montesino is unknown.
He entered the Order and made his religious profession in the priory of St.Stephen, Salamanca, where in all probability he studied, and received the priesthood.


He sailed under the leadership of Peter
of Córdoba, with the first band of Dominicans, - Bernardo de Santo Domingo, and Domingo de Villamayor -, to the Indies in July 1510, and landed in Hispaniola in September.

n the sermon on the 4th Sunday of the Advent, 21 December 1511, he denounced in the name of the Dominican community publicly
the enslavement and oppression of the Indians as sinful and disgraceful to the Spanish nation.
Being censured for this, he was cited to Spain in 1512, where he pleaded the cause of the Indians so successfully that the King took immediate measures towards ameliorating their condition. In June, 1526, with Father Anthony de Cervantes, he accompanied several hundred colonists under the leadership of Ayllón to Guandape, probably where the English subsequently founded Jamestown; or, as some are inclined to think, proceeded even as far as New York.

In either case, however, we are safe in asserting that Holy Mass was celebrated for the first time in the present territory of the United States by these Dominicans. On the death of Ayllón (Oct., 1526) the colony abandoned the country and returned to San Domingo.
According to Helps: "Spanish Conquest in America", Montesino went to Venezuela about 1528 with twenty of his brethren. Nothing more is known of him except the slight information furnished by a note in the margin of the registry of his profession in the convent of St. Stephen at Salamanca, which says: "Obiit martyr in Indiis". He is the author of "Informatio juridica in Indorum defensionem".He died in 1545.

Sources: Quétif-Echard, O.P. II, 123; Helps: Spanish Conquest in America (New York), passim. Macnutt: Life of Las Casas (New York), passim. Touron: Hom. ill. de l'ordre S. Dominique, IV (Paris, 1747), 245-48. Shea: History of the Catholic Church in the United States, I (New York, s. d.), 101-08. Catholic Encyclopedia > New Advent: Kevin Knight .


Philately

Anthony Montesino during his sermon about the text:
'Vox clamantis in deserto' (Lc 3,4) in the chapel
of the Dominican priory in Santo Domingo, 21 December 1511.

Dominican Republic 1989, Mi 1601, Sc 1070.

 

 

Anthony Montesino preaching on behalf of the members
of the priory in Santo Domingo on 21 December 1511.

Dominican Republic 1994, Mi 1728, Sc 1175.

 

 


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