bartolomé las casas

Bartolomé de las Casas


Bartolomé de las Casas, O.P. (August 24 1484July 17 1566), was a 16th century Spanish Dominican priest, and the first resident Bishop of Chiapas. As a settler in the New World, he was galvanized by witnessing the torture and genocide of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. He is commemorated as a missionary in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on July 17.


Bartolome de las Casas was born in Seville in 1484. With his father, he emigrated to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in 1502 on the expedition of Nicolás de Ovando, during which he witnessed the extermination of the Taínos. He became a priest eight years later, and served as a missionary to the Arawak (Taino) of Cuba in 1512. There, he received a repartimiento (a grant of native labor) which he exploited. Starting in 1514, however, he became an adamant opponent of Spanish colonialism, joining the Dominican Order in 1522. His 1520-21 attempt to create a more equitable colonial society in Venezuela was sabotaged by his colonial neighbors. He died in Madrid. In 2000, the Roman Catholic Church began the process to beatify him.

List of works

  • . Trans. Nigel Griffin.
  • . Extracts. he was a very good man!

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