Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 16 June

Bishop Bartolomé de las CasasVenerable Father Bartholomew de Las Casas, Confessor, O.P.

Las Casas was led by his sense of justice, his tender charity and his love for souls redeemed by the blood of Christ to become the defender, friend, servant and father of the oppressed Indians in America. Having entered the Order of Saint Dominic in middle age attracted by the austere life and the frank, generous spirit, he recommended his apostolate with increased faith and devotion and after being made Bishop of Chiapa, he made long journeys over the mountains to baptize children and to prepare adults for the sacraments. The esteem in which he was held was so great that in order to re-establish peace in a tribe, it sufficed to send an Indian carrying an old piece of parchment at the end of a stick, mentioning that it came from Las Casas. At last he was wearied out with the futility of his efforts, although supported by the Franciscan Cardinal Ximenes, who had been named Protector General of the Indians, he retired into solitude and lived for fifteen years in the exercise of prayer and penance. He continued to write on behalf of the Indians till his death at the age of ninety-two. One of his works, entitled “Confesonario,” is on the duties of confessors, especially in their dealings with oppressors of the weak (1566).


“Eternal life is fiowing for us, and we, poor creatures that we are, do not profit by it.” Saint Catherine of Siena


Do you thank God for the blessing of faith? Is yours a living, active faith? May you not end by being more guilty than the heathen?