Grijalva, Juan de

views updated


Born in Colima, Mexico, date unknown; died in Mexico City, Nov. 4, 1638. Grijalva joined the Augustinians and made his religious profession on Nov. 5, 1595, at Guayangareo (now Morelia). Later, he studied at the University of Mexico, where he obtained his doctorate in 1612. Grijalva served in various offices in his order, including that of prior in each of the two principal monasteries in Mexico City, San Agustín and the Colegio San Pablo. In 1624, he published Crónica de la Orden de N.P.S. Agustín en las provincias de la Nueva España en quatro edades desde el año de 1533 hasta el de 1592. This work is the first published of the Augustinian chronicles and is of major importance for the 16th-century history of the order since the friars spread from New Spain to South America and the Philippines. Many of the sources upon which it was based are no longer extant; therefore, Grijalva's extensive quotations from other documents are especially important. The style is clear and the chronology unusually exact. The chronicle is divided into four books. The first treats the arrival of the first Augustinians in New Spain (1533) and the areas in which they worked; it also includes information on expeditions to the Far East. Mission methods are the topic of book two, which also tells of the cocoliztli epidemic among the Native Americans. Book three is primarily concerned with missions to the Philippines and China, though it also covers the founding of the Colegio de San Pablo in Mexico City and mission work among the Tarascans. Book four contains Augustinian biographies. In general, the account is trustworthy. The original edition is very rare, but an edition published in Mexico City in 1924 is virtually a facsimile reproduction.

Bibliography: g. de santiago vela, Ensayo de una biblioteca ibero-americana de la Orden de San Agustín, 7 v. in 8 (Madrid 191331) 3:301307; "Historiadores de la provincia agustiniana de México," Archivo histórico hispano-agustiniano 9 (1918) 241255.

[a. j. ennis]