But Time and Chance: The Story of Padre Martinez of Taos, 1793-1867

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Sunstone Press, 1981 - Biography & Autobiography - 173 pages

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong . . . but time and chance happenethto them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11 With these words, the epitaph Padre Martinez chose for himself, the reader is drawn into a stirring and provocative biography recounted by a master storyteller. Fray Angelico Chavez, articulate and well-versed in New Mexicana, vividly records the life of the controversial Padre of Taos so that the reader gains full measure of his surroundings and of the times. Martinez was continually at the forefront of the public and political forums . . . a master of jurisprudence and canon law . . . a champion of the underdog. With the advent of Bishop Lamy, public attention became focused on these two dynamic personalities. Their philosophic differences ultimately led to Martinez' suspension and excommunication. Chavez was a curious and indefatigable researcher and he used these talents well while delving into the facts and legends surrounding Padre Martinez most poignant and colorful life-drama . . . a personality to be reckoned with, whether as hero or villain, or both. Readers will, at once, share with Chavez his absorption in this man and, also wonder . . . how such a phenomenon could have sprouted and bloomed under the most adverse circumstances of time and place.

 

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Contents

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11
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Page 3 - I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill ; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

About the author (1981)

Fray Angélico Chávez has been called a renaissance man and New Mexico's foremost twentieth-century humanist by biographer Ellen McCracken. Any way you measure his career, Fray Angélico Chávez was an unexpected phenomenon in the wide and sunlit land of the American Southwest. In the decades following his ordination as a Franciscan priest in 1937, Chávez performed the difficult duties of an isolated backcountry pastor. His assignments included Hispanic villages and Indian pueblos. As an army chaplain in World War II, he accompanied troops in bloody landings on Pacific islands, claiming afterwards that because of his small stature, Japanese bullets always missed him. In time, despite heavy clerical duties, Fray Angélico managed to become an author of note, as well as something of an artist and muralist. Upon all of his endeavors, one finds, understandably, the imprint of his religious perspective. During nearly seventy years of writing, he published almost two dozen books. Among them were novels, essays, poetry, biographies, and histories. Sunstone Press has brought back into print some of these rare titles, including My Penitente Land: Reflections of Spanish New Mexico, Our Lady of the Conquest, Chavez: A Distinctive American Clan of New Mexico, La Conquistadora: The Autobiography of an Ancient Statue, and New Mexico Triptych.

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