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Repositioning the MissionaryRewriting the Histories of Colonialism, Native Catholicism, and Indigeneity in Guam$
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Vicente M. Diaz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834340

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834340.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

The Mission Positio

The Mission Positio

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter 1The Mission Positio
Source:
Repositioning the Missionary
Author(s):

Vicente M. Diaz

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824834340.003.0001

This chapter first surveys the general significance of saints and martyrs in Roman Catholic theology. It then focuses on the theological argument about San Vitores' death as one of true martyrdom and considers how it requires and effectuates a negative figuration of Chamorro social and cultural agency in the way that it interprets Matå'pang's motives. In the Positio, the certification or authentication of San Vitores's martyrdom features the antics of Matå'pang as a kind of negative witness, although other Chamorros are trotted in either as accomplices or as important supporting characters, witnesses to the murder. How is this symbolic operation accomplished in the narrative Positio, and what are the costs of lionizing San Vitores and demonizing Matå'pang? Using the logic and fundamentals of providentialist thinking, and via its scripting of good over evil in imitation of Christ's passion, San Vitores' death at the hands of Matå'pang is also understood as a testimony to everlasting life with God. But what futures, other than hell or purgatory, are preempted by these symbolic maneuvers—especially for those still alive?

Keywords:   saints, martyrs, Roman Catholic theology, Diego Luis de San Vitores, Chamorros, Historico Positio

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