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Pedro De Angulo

ANGULO, Pedro de, missionary, born in Burgos, Spain, about 1500; died in 1562. After finishing his studies he set out for America in 1524, in company with some other young men of noble birth. He rapidly acquired wealth and military fame, but was so much affected by the sight of the cruelties with which the Spaniards treated the Indians that he resolved to devote himself entirely to the service of the natives. With this object he entered a Dominican convent and took the habit of the order in Mexico in 1528. After studying for some years he was ordained a priest, and was then placed under the direction of Las Casas, whom he accompanied into Peru and other places where the protection of the Indians rendered their presence necessary. In 1541 he was sent to Guatemala to carry on the work among the Indians, which had been begun ten years before. He was so successful that ten years afterward the number of Christians was so large, and the convents of the Dominicans so numerous, as to require the erection of the country into a new province of the order. His next efforts were directed to the conversion of the people that lived north of Guatemala. These Indians were so fierce and warlike that the Spaniards, who had been repelled in every attempt to subdue them, called their country " the land of war." In company with two other missionaries, Father de Angulo went among them, and, although at first received with distrust, finally succeeded in converting the entire nation. He next devoted himself to the task of persuading the Indians to abandon their nomadic life, succeeded in forming them into village communities, and drew up a code of laws suited to their character and needs. The Indians offered to place their country under the protection of the crown of Castile and pay an annual tribute, provided no attempt was made on their liberty, and a treaty to this effect was ratified by the Spanish court, which also expressed a wish that the name of the country should be changed to Vera-Pax, in memory of the event. A city of the same name was built a few years afterward, and Father de Angulo was chosen its first bishop; but before the bulls arrived from Rome he died.

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