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Luis Cancer de Barbastro

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Cancer de Barbastro, LUIS, one of the first Dominicans who followed Las Casas to Guatemala, b. in Aragon, Spain, date uncertain; d. at Tampa Bay, Florida, U.S.A., c. 1549. He worked as a missionary among the Indians of Vera Paz with great zeal and fortitude and composed in the Zapotecan idiom the “Varies Canciones en verso zapoteco sobre los Misterios de la Religion para use de los Nebfitos de la Vera Paz”, a manuscript not now accessible. He was an ardent adherent of Las Cases and sided with him at the gathering of prelates and theologians convoked by the visitor Tello de Sandoval at Mexico in 1546. Anxious to prove the efficacy of the methods proposed by Las Casas, he went to Spain and obtained there the direction of the conversion of the Indians of Florida. Upon his return to Mexico he sailed for Florida from Vera Cruz in 1549 with two other Dominicans. Their interpreter was an Indian woman called Magdalen who had embraced Christianity. Upon reaching the shores of Florida, however, this woman betrayed them, and the three priests were killed by the Indians.

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