Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DACIAN, Jakob (dah-see-an'), Danish monk, born in Copenhagen in 1496; died in Tarecuato, Mexico, in 1562. He belonged to the Danish royal family, became a Franciscan at the age of twenty-four, and was appointed provincial of his order in 1529. A few years afterward he had to leave his country to escape persecution by the Lutherans, and went to Spain, where the emperor, Charles V., recommended him to the civil and Church authorities of New Spain. Dacian at once left for Mexico, and there filled important offices in his order, and for many years worked most successfully as a missionary among the Indians, especially in the provinces of Santo Evangelio, Michoacan, and Guadalajara. He preached to the natives in their Tarasc language, which he mastered, as well as Spanish, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic. While he was guardian of the Tarecuato convent he founded the town of Arancara. Dacian left many works in various languages, most of which have been lost. The best known is his "Declamacidn del pueblo barbaro de los Indios, que habiendo recibido el bautismo, desean recibir los demas sacramentos."
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