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Juan Coronel

Franciscan (1569-1651)

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Coronel, JUAN, b. 1569, in Spain; d. 1651, at Merida, Mexico. He made his academic studies at the University of Alcala de Henares, and joined the Franciscans of the province of Castile. He was sent to Yucatan, Mexico, in 1590, and there so familiarized himself with the Maya language that he was able to teach it, the historian Cogolludo being one of his pupils. Cogolludo says he wrote a Maya grammar (Arte) that was printed in Mexico, of which, however, nothing else is known. A catechism in Maya: “Doctrina cristiana en lengua Maya”, was published at Mexico in 1620, and in the same year there appeared in print, also at Mexico, “Discursos predicables y tratados espirituales en lengua Maya”. Both are exceedingly rare. Father Coronel was one of the foremost teachers of the Indians of Yucatan in the seventeenth century. He was a strict Observant for sixty-seven years, always travelling barefooted. His great austerity impeded his election to the office of Provincial of the Franciscan Order in Yucatan.


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