You are here:

U.S. History/What Caused The Pueblo Revolt


Did Franciscans invite martyrdom?
Describe in detail how the Pueblo in the revolt treated the
Religious icons and representations of the Catholic Church? Why did the friars so embrace their deaths? Could the way the Friars embraced martyrdom suggest a greater cultural misunderstanding?
Describe your reasoning on this.

It is a precept of Christianity that to be killed for serving Christ will bring reward in heaven.  Franciscan priests who took that precept seriously welcomed martyrdom or at least did not fear it.  Of course there is also the reality that many Christian individual would prefer not to die a premature gruesome death.  Many missionaries who could chose to flee the uprising to escape death. But generally the men who devoted their lives to Christ through spreading the Gospel among nonbelievers often knew and welcomed the risks of martyrdom.

I am not aware of any detailed account of the destruction of the churches and religious icons during the revolt, but many rebels views the Church as an institution of oppression and took violent action against it, not only killing priests but burning churches and religious items.

I don't think the embrace of martyrdom suggests a cultural misunderstanding.  There certainly were cultural divides that the Spanish did not understand.  But they were not there to understand the native cultures.  They were there to replace those cultures with what they believed to be a superior culture.  But the embrace of martyrdom suggests only that despite cultural divides the Franciscans were willing to defend their way of life (and the imposition of their way of life on the natives) to the death.

- Mike  

U.S. History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

©2017 All rights reserved.