Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SARAVIA, Francisco (sah-rah'-ve-ah), Spanish missionary, born in Seville about 1530" died in Villa-Alta, Mexico, 10 August, 1630. fie went about 1550 to Mexico, where he married and worked as a cabinet-maker, but after the death of his wife he entered the Dominican order in 1574. After his ordination he was sent to the parish of Villa-Alta, in the province of Oajaca, where he soon acquired the difficult language of the Chinantec Indians, and set out to convert that tribe, dwelling in caves on the mountains of Oajaca. He met with great success, persuading the Indians to leave their mountains fastnesses, founding several large villages, and living for more than fifty years in their midst, he continued his missionary trips to the mountains when a nonagenarian with a broken leg, being carried by the Indians, and he did not return to his convent of Villa-Alta till he felt his last days approaching. He wrote "Gran Itomili-ario Chinanteco," which he copied with his own hand in manuscript for every village of his converts, so that in his absence the native sexton might read the Sunday service: "Catecismo Chinanteco," which is still in use in the mountain-villages; and "Noticiade la ConversiSn de la Nacion Chinan-teca, y sucesos acaecidos en ella al Autor," which is preserved in manuscript in the archive of the Dominican convent of Oajaca.
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