Bartolome' de Las Casas, Apostle of the Indies - July 17
- 2013 17 Jul
Apostle of the Indies, Bartolome' de Las Casas," died JULY 17, 1566. He left Spain in 1502 for the West Indies and later returned to Europe. Then he heard Dominican Father Antonio de Montesinos speak Pentecost Sunday, August 15, 1511, on the verse: "I am a voice crying in the wilderness." Las Casas returned to the Americas and dedicated his life to helping Indians. He became the first priest ordained in the New World. Las Casas petitioned King Ferdinand and later Emperor Charles V to end military conquest and use peaceful means to convert Indians, as he explained in his treatise "Concerning the Only Way of Drawing All Peoples to the True Religion." When Las Casas' writings "A brief report on the Destruction of the Indians" and "Apologetica historia de las Indias" were translated in Europe, an outrage arose, pressuring Spain to enact New Laws protecting Indians, though colonists largely ignored them. Las Casas declared in his tract Confesionario that any Spaniard who refused to release his Indians is to be denied absolution. Las Casas stated: "The main goal of divine Providence in the discovery of these tribes...is...the conversion and well-being of souls, and to this goal everything temporal must necessarily be directed."