Amazon Diary-May 31, 1924-“I want to make of them an ideal Christian people”

The Apaktone’s diary entry on May 31, 1924:

Along the Bahuaja (Tambopata) river: “I wake up around five and a pray my morning prayers  in preparation for Holy Mass.  At six thirty, I call Domingo and I insist again that he do whatever possible to get everyone to attend Mass; this is all that I ask: that they attend Mass and then hear the lessons we teach them afterwards.  He tells the villagers to come,  and today like most days, the first to arrive is his wife, who according to her demeanor, reveals a spiritual person who is sincerely religious.  (According to later events, my intuition was proven correct when a few weeks later, while ill, she requested the village chief to allow her to travel here to the Maldonado Mission to be baptized).  I begin the Holy Sacrifice and words can not describe my joy when our call arouses their interest and soon they all begin to gather.  I speak to them about my joy seeing them happy and satisfied in attending, but I also tell them that my greater wish is that their happiness becomes joy in the hope of going to heaven.  I speak of their need for baptism as an indispensable condition for their salvation.  I tell them that after baptism they no longer have anything to fear; no longer fearing the “ecuika” (devil) because he no longer can claim them, nor any of the other savage tribes; for I will also go to them to preach and work so peace and friendship reigns between them.  I tell them that they should no longer be fearful of the civilized, for I will be their defender and that my love towards them is so great that I will gladly go to baptize them even knowing that I may die drowning in treacherous rapids.  I want to make of them an ideal Christian people.

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