Christianizing the Nahua

Diego Valadés
Rhetórica Christiana
Perugia: Pietro Giacopo Petrucci, 1579

Born in 1533, the son of a Nahua mother and a Spanish father, Diego Valadés was the first mestizo to enter the Franciscan Order. Elected Franciscan representative to the Vatican and sent to Rome in 1570, Valadés wrote and illustrated the Rhetorica Christiana, the first published account of the evangelization of Mexico.

Valadés depicts his mentor Friar Pedro de Gante using images to instruct indigenous congregants. The setting, an idealized church forecourt, further celebrates the establishment of Christianity in Mexico.

Newberry Library: Wing ZP 535 .P447

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