Four Jesuit Missionaries Dead After Battle With Portuguese Colonists
Iguazu Falls, Argentina–Hundreds of Guarani tribe members, including four Jesuit missionaries, were slain early this week when their Mission, located atop the perilous Iguazu Falls on the boundaries of Argentina and Brazil, was attacked by a coalition of Spanish and Portuguese colonists. The Mission’s land, once under the protection of the Spanish, had been reapportioned according to a treaty signed last month, essentially transferring the land to the Portuguese.
Cardinal Altamirano, who oversees the Mission territories, came to the decision two weeks ago to abandon the Mission. He told Eye of the Tiber that the four Jesuits who helped convert the indigenous people had not only feared a Portuguese invasion, but also feared that the Portuguese colonists would make slaves of the Guarani. “I told them [the Guarani] they must leave the mission. I said that they were to submit to the will of God. They in response said that it was the will of God that they came out of the jungle and built the mission, and they did not understand why God had changed his mind. Then they stormed off, and I knew then that they were going to fight.”
Reports now have surfaced alleging that at least some of the men who fought with the Guarani may indeed have been the Jesuits themselves. Altamirano confirmed to Eye of the Tiber that some of the members of the Jesuit Order had fought along side the Guarani, adding that the head of the Order in Iguazu Falls, Father Gabriel, had not participated in the bloodshed, but rather, had made a dramatic eucharistic procession, amidst gunfire and breathtaking music, with the women and children of the village before all, including Gabriel, were eventually gunned down. “Fr. Gabriel did not want to fight,” a half-naked little indigenous boy told Eye of the Tiber. “He told Brother Rodrigo that if might was right, then love had no place in the world. He said like this, he said, ‘It might be so. It might be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that, Rodrigo.’” Brother Rodrigo also died in the battle, with one witness saying that Rodrigo, who chose to fight rather than take part in the procession, died, staring, almost longingly at Father Gabriel, as if to say, “We both die now, but oh, how I now yearn to have died like you.”
In response to the massacre, Altamirano text messaged Portuguese Governor Don Hontar asking whether he [Hontar] had the effrontery to tell him that the slaughter was necessary. Hontar in response sent a reply informing Altamirano that the both of them must live in the world, and that the world is thus. Altamirano reportedly replied that thus had they made the world; thus had he himself made it.
At press time, Altamirano has written an email to the Pope covering the events that transpired at the Iguazu Falls, reading, “Holiness, now your priests are dead, and I am left alive. But in truth it is I who am dead, and they who live. For as always, your Holiness, the spirit of the dead will survive in the memory of the living.”