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Father Juan de Padilla

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Ave Maria Hour Radio Show

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Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

Born in Andalusia, Juan de Padilla, was a soldier before he came a Franciscan friar. He held several positions of authority in Mexico. Padilla was one of four Franciscans to accompany Francisco Vasquez de Coronado on his expedition to colonize New Mexico in 1540. The expedition was encouraged by reports of riches from Cabeza de Vaca and his companions, the survivors of the ill fated Navarez expedition.

Padilla was guardian of a convent at Jalisco at the time the expedition began. He gave up his high position in the church in order to become a missionary to the native people to the north. It was his hope to educate and convert the people to the religion he taught.

Father Padilla was known to be kind and gentle yet full of energy. He punished those who caused unpleasantness in Coronado's camp. At first he worked with the Moqui Pueblos. He spent winter quarters with Coronado on the Rio Grande river, where the army rested before continuing the historic journey to the fabled Quivira. 

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