Ortiz de Zárate, Pedro, ven
ORTIZ DE ZÁRATE, PEDRO, VEN
Argentine martyr; b. Jujuy, 1622; d. in the Chaco, Oct. 27, 1683. He was the grandson of one of the founders of the early settlements in Jujuy and inherited a fortune in land and money. In 1644 he married Petronila de Ibarra, a member of another of the founding families; they had two sons. After the death of his wife in 1653, Ortiz de Zárate studied with the Jesuits; he was ordained in 1659. He was then appointed pastor in Jujuy. However, his great ambition was to convert the natives of the Chaco
and to civilize them through preaching the gospel. He sought permission from the royal authorities and from the bishop of Tucumán to organize a missionary expedition into the region with two Jesuits. They left Jujuy on Oct. 18, 1682, with Ortiz de Zárate paying all the expenses of the expedition. Within the forests of the Chaco he founded two settlements: Santa Maráa and San Rafael. The natives gave the appearance of being friendly but the next year they killed Ortiz de Zárate and the Jesuit Father Salinas. All the existing documents that refer to Ortiz de Zárate assert that he led a holy life of mortification. His reputation for saintliness has grown since his death. A bone from his arm is preserved in the House of the Good Shepherd in Jujuy.
Bibliography: m. a. vergara, Estudios sobre historia ecclesiástica de Jujuy (Tucumán, Argen. 1942).
[m. a. vergara]