This book examines the role played by the Franciscan friars of propaganda fide in the expansion and consolidation of Catholicism in the eighteenth-century Hispanic world. More specifically, it investigates the conversion agenda of the Franciscan Order's Colleges for the Propagation of the Faith and their missionaries in Spanish America and Spain. It shows how Franciscan colleges developed an extensive, methodical missionary program aimed at converting both Catholics and non-Christians. The Franciscan missionaries focused not only on the recruitment of non-Catholics for their eternal salvation under the umbrella of the Church, but also on the salvation of the sinners who were otherwise condemned to hell. This introduction provides a summary of the chapters that follow, covering topics such as the recruitment of novices and friars, the missionary training program in the Franciscan colleges, the misiones populares, and the contents of sermons and pláticas preached in the popular missions.
Keywords: propaganda fide, Franciscan friars, Catholicism, conversion, Franciscan Order, Colleges for the Propagation of the Faith, Spanish America, Franciscan missionaries, misiones populares, sermons
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