Barbastro, Francisco Antonio

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Franciscan prelate in northwest Mexico; b. Villa de Cariñena, Aragón, Spain, 1734; d. Aconchi, Sonora, Mexico, June 22, 1800. Barbastro took the habit at the Convento de Jesús in Zaragoza (1754), went to the Colegio of San Roque de Calamocha (1764), and from there to the Missionary College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro (1770). He was assigned to the missions of Sonora, of which he was made president. There he was the most outstanding of the missionaries because of his wisdom and his charity toward the Indians. He learned the languages of the various nations, particularly that of the Opatas, and preached in them. In 1783 he founded the school of Aconchi, the first in Sonora. On October 23 of that year the Custody of San Carlos was founded, and Barbastro governed it as vice custos until it was dissolved (1789) on his recommendation to Charles IV. Barbastro demonstrated that the custody was harmful to the missions. He wrote notes and reports for a history of the Province of Sonora as an Apología for the Franciscan provinces and colleges engaged in missions among the pagans.

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