The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
energetic in promoting this venture was Father Juan Larios,
guardian of the Franciscan friary3 at Atoyac, about fifty miles
south of Guadalajara. He is easily the leading agent in the con-
quest of northern Coahuila between the years 1670 and 1675.
An important turn in one's career sometimes hinges on an inci-
dent quite unimportant in itself. So it was in the case of Father
Larios and his career in the Rio Grande region. In 1670, being
guardian at Atoyac, he obtained permission to visit his sister in
Durango. While returning to his Province, on the second day of
the journey, he met two Indian warriors. Though terrifying in
appearance, they soon reassured the friar, demanding by signs
nothing more than that he accompany them to their home in the
North and convert their people to Christianity. Larios was at a
loss what to do. On the one hand, his priestly heart rebelled
against refusing or deferring compliance with their appeal. On
the other hand, as religious he was subject to the will of his
Superiors without whose express approval he felt it ill-advised to
accompany the Indians. He found a way out of this dilemma,
however. At his instance, one of the Indians set out the next day
for Guadalajara, bearing the letter which Larios wrote to his Min-
ister Provincial, Father Juan Mohedano. In this letter he told the
Provincial that, presuming permission, he was departing with the
other Indian for the North; the Provincial should please give the
venture his approval and his blessing.
After traveling northeast for twenty days, Larios and his Indian
guide came to a rancheria where they were heartily welcomed by the
natives. Soon the rancheria had its chapel and its dwelling for
the missionary. Larios began to study the language of the Indians,
meanwhile instructing them as best he could in the tenets of
Christianity and in the ways of civilized life. Apprized of his
arrival, Indians of neighboring rancherias came to see and hear
him, and before long the missionary was surrounded by more than
five hundred Indians.'
8"Guardian" is the legal and official title of the superior of a larger
community of Franciscans inhabiting what in English is termed a friary.
Guardians by virtue of their office have active and passive voice in the
Provincial chapters convoked at regular intervals either by the Minister
Provincial or by the Minister General. The terms "prior" and "priory"
are sometimes used in connection with Franciscans, but erroneously so.
*Mota Padilla, Conquita del reino de la Nueve Galicia ene la Amrica
3eptentrional. Alfo de 1742, pp. 375-376.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933, periodical, 1933; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/m1/10/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.