Sanvitores Life

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores led the first mission to the Ladrones in 1668, which he renamed the Marianas. In 1672 Sanvitores was murdered after baptizing the daughter of Matapang against his whishes. Padre Sanvitores was an extraordinary man. He was born to a noble family in Spain. His boyhood idol was St. Francis Xavier, who traveled the world as a missionary and was eventually martyred in the Japan. Sanvitores wanted to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis Xavier, and carry the word of the Roman Catholic Church to the pagan people of the Pacific. He sought the same martyrdom that came to St. Francis Xavier. In the Marianas mission, as you will soon learn, Padre Sanvitores was able to accomplish his goals. Among Roman Catholics todawy he is known as "Apostle of the Marianas." Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores first saw the Ladrones in 1662.

He was traveling on a galleon to the Philippines when it stopped briefly at Guam. Sanvitores saw the chamorros as innocent heathens who must become Christians so they could go to heaven. He became determined to establish a mission to convert the chamorros. After several years of letter-writing, Sanvitores was able to convince King Philip IV of Spain to support a mission in the Marianas.

Sanvitores was still in the Philippines when he received new of the queen regent's decision to fund the mission in the Ladrones. While he was waiting in the Philippines for a ship to Mexico,



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