One of the Earliest Pictographic Catechisms

A pictographic catechism of the Franciscan friar Pedro de Gante evidently influenced by Aztec writings. This catechism not of words, caused quite a stir in Europe at a time when Calvinistic iconoclasm was attacking the Catholic modes of transmitting the faith by means other than the word, i.e., of statues, relics, stained glass, etc.

For Pedro de Gante the pictograph was an effective instrument to transmit Truth,  which upon entering the soul, could then be acted upon by grace.   “Doctrine, prayers, and primary letters, are internalized in the indigenous soul by means of the figures.  In this way, Castilian entered first through the eyes and later through the ears.”  1

“ of the first concerns of the missionaries was to find the most appropriate method with which to succeed in their work of education. The adoption of pedagogical practices in use by the pagans, a keen knowledge of the indigenous spirit, and the valuable cooperation of native communities facilitated the creation of the earliest nuclei of education.  These constituted the solid substrata of the most advanced educational institutions of the 16th century.”  2


Note:   Quotes are from Salvat’s Historia de México, vol. 5 – installment 72

Doctrina, oraciones y primeras letras se internaron en el alma indígena por medio de figures.  De esta forma el castellano entraba primero por los ojos y luego por los oídos. 

…una de las primeras ocupaciones de los misioneros fue la de buscar el método más apropiado, con el cula poder desarrollar su labor educative.  La adopción de  prácticas pedagógicas en uso durante la gentilidad, un agudo conocimineto del espíritu indio y la valiosa cooperación de las comunidades de natives faciltaron la creación de los primeros núcleos de instrucción.  Estos constituyeron el sustrato firme de las instituciones educativas más avanzadas del siglo XVI.

About ihmprayforme

lifelong Catholic; homeschooled our children; have been regularly attending the Tridentine Mass for at least the past 17 years.
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