“I am sorry, Father. I hate to disturb Matins, but you have been summoned.”

Padre Sebastién had been expecting this for months. He suppressed a grunt as he arose from the prayer bench. He was tired. Perhaps now he could have some rest on the passage back. He smiled at his audacity. He was a poor sailor, apt to be ill for weeks on end.

The boy looked up at him. “I am frightened, father. The soldiers were most disrespectful.”

“Hush, Pablo. You must go now and gather your things. We are to sail back to Portugal.”

“Portugal?” said the boy. “But I have never  even left Santo Domingo.”

“Well, it seems God has decided it is time you do so. Come. We must make haste.”

Outside in the courtyard, the armored Spanish soldiers leaned on their spears. “These cursed heretic Jesuits,” said one. “Would we might slaughter them all.”


What Pegman Saw


Historical Note: Believing that the Society of Jesus had acquired too much wealth and influence over Spanish affairs, King Charles III expelled the Jesuits from all Spanish-controlled territories in 1767 and turned over possessions controlled by the Jesuits to other religious orders. At this time, the order consisted of 24 professed-houses, 369 colleges, 170 seminaries, 61 novitiate-houses, 335 residences, and 273 missions in heathen and Protestant countries, and 22,589 members of all ranks, half of whom were ordained priests .