Page 9, 14th March 2003

14th March 2003
Page 9
Page 9, 14th March 2003 — From Mr Donal Foley Sir, regarding Patrick Reyntiens' article on

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Locations: Mexico city


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From Mr Donal Foley Sir, regarding Patrick Reyntiens' article on

Aztec art in this week's Catholic Herald, I think one point needs to be clarified.

He argued that: "The military defeat of the Aztecs by a far inferior number of soldiers from Spain did much to persuade the Mexican priesthood that they had better surrender and change sides and religion."

He then went on to speak about how the bloody sacrifices of the Aztecs were replaced by the unbloody sacrifice of the Holy Mass, and that it was an explanation of this which let to the mass conversion of the Aztecs to Christianity within a short period.

There is probably some truth in this, but these conversions are in the main attributable to the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico city in 1531.

In fact there is evidence that just prior to this, the Aztecs were planning a mass uprising in which all the Spaniards in Mexico were to be killed. But following Guadalupe, the Aztecs turned to Catholicism in great numbers, and indeed one of the early Franciscan Fathers, Toribio de Benavente, claimed that as early as 1537, only six years after the apparitions, nine million Indians had been baptised.

To this day the cult of Our Lady of Guadalupe is enormously popular in Mexico and it is the most visited Marian shrine in the world. For more information on this topic please see: proved/appariti/guadalup.html Yours faithfully, DONAL FOLEY, [email protected]

From Ron Mulroy

Sir, Patrick Reyntiens, in his review of the current Aztec exhibition (February 28), talks in horrifying terms of the nature and practice of the Aztec religion.

He implies admiration for the military success of the Conquistadors and notes "...the colossal outpourings of human blood were abruptly stopped..„' with mass conversion to Catholicism".

But his account of the history is far from complete. The con

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