It is owing to the ever active missionary spirit among the Friars Minor (Franciscans) that millions upon millions of American Indians have obtained the Christian faith. The children of St. Francis were, indeed, the principal factors in the very discovery of America, inasmuch as the persons most prominently connected with that event belonged to the Seraphic Family. Fr. Juan Perez de Marchena, the friend and counsellor of Christopher Columbus, was the guardian or superior of the Franciscan monastery at La Rabida; * * * and the great navigator likewise belonged to the Third Order.
in Missions and Missionaries of California.
Not with the clash of arms or conquering
He came, who first upon this kindly shore
Planted the Cross. No heralds walked before;
But, as the Master bade, with sandalled feet,
Weary and bleeding oft, he crossed the wild.
Carrying glad tidings to the untutored child
Of Nature; and that gracious mother smiled,
And made the dreary waste to bloom once more.
Silently, selflessly he went and came;
He sought to live and die unheard of men—
Praise made his pale cheek glow as if with shame.
A hundred years and more have passed since then.
And yet the imprint of his feet today
Is traced in flowers from here to Monterey.
MARY E. MANNIX.
I stand and wonder at thy walls
So old, so quaint; a glory falls
Upon them as I view the past.
And read the story which thou hast
Preserved so well.
* * * * *
What souls were they who fashioned thee
To be a blessed charity!
What faith was theirs who bore the cross,
And counted wealth and ease but loss,
Of Christ to tell!
* * * * *
A glamour of the ancient time
Remains with thee! Thou hast the rhyme
Of some old poem, and the scent
Of some old rose’s ravishment
Naught can dispel!
* * * * *
LYMAN WHITNEY ALLEN,
in A Parable of the Rose.
Wherever a green blade looks up,
A leaf lisps mystery,
Whereso a blossom holds its cup
A mist rings land or sea,
Wherever voice doth utter sound
Or silence make her round—
There worship; it is holy ground.
JOHN VANCE CHENEY,
The Grace of the Ground, in Poems.