Penitente Self-government: Brotherhoods and Councils, 1797-1947
A major new work on the Penitente Brotherhood in New Mexico and Colorado, Penitente Self-Government is based on many documents only recently available. Steele and Rivera have excerpted and translated passages from some fifty Spanish-language documents in writing this history of how independent and often isolated village Penitente chapters, or moradas, first came not being around 1800 and began to organize themselves into districts and later regional associations until officially recognized by the Catholic Church in 1947. In tracing this development, the authors provide new insights into clergy like Archbishops Lamy and Salpointe, Padre Martínez of Taos, and the Presbyterian Rev. Alexander Darley of southern Colorado. They also give bibliographical details on numerous Brotherhood officers, notably Bernardo Abeyta, builder of the famous Santuario of Chimayó, and Miguel Archibeque, who was instrumental in effecting the 1947 reconciliation with Archbishop Byrne, Translations of twelve documents--from Cochití, Taos, Truchas, Canjilón, Ensenda, Abiquiú, Hernández, and Lyden--follow the history. Appendices include discussions of Penitente geography, liturgy, initiation rites, prayer, rituals, and symbols.
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