From EL TEMPO, Arts & Entertainment Magazine of the Taos News, July 13-19, 2006
“As an artist, my objective is to…communicate ideas of visual content that will result in an emotional response from those who view it… Art of this kind can heal, challenge and stimulate us to define our spiritual voice.”–Huberto Maestas, Sculptor
Padre Martinez through “his passionate dedication to learning…briefly made Taos a center of intellectual activity.”–Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
“His armor was his faith and he was the supporter and protector of all his people.”–Ray John de Aragon, author
Padre Martinez was also he first New Mexican to become a U.S. citizen….He taught people how to work with the tools of education within the system to achieve good things for their communities”–Margaret Vigil, executive assistant to Senator Cisneros and coordinator of weekend
“It is right and just that his proper place in the church and in history be recognized.”–Corina Santistevan, Taos historian and educator
“Memorials help many people remember their history and those who forged it.”–Harvard educated attorney and President of La Fundación Presbítero Don Antonio José Martinez. Compiled by Rev. Juan Romero
EXCERPT FROM EL NUEVO MEXICANO – Bilingual Section of The Santa Fe New Mexican – Article by Karla Baca, Monday July 17, 2006.
For the people of Northern New Mexico, especially for those from Taos, the monument dedicated to Father Antonio José Martínez (1793-1867) that was unveiled this week on the Taos Plaza will be a source of pride and a memory for future generations of this man who contributed so much to the state.
Martinez participated in the 19th century New Mexican society by taking on various roles. He was an educated man who was involved in securing the welfare of his people by dedicating himself to them as priest, politician, publisher, educator and rancher…”Martínez was a person who struggled for the rights of the people, he endeavored to maintain cultural identity, and he fought for what was right…,” Romero said in a telephone interview from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Palm Springs, California
He [Padre Martínez] never rescinded his beliefs regarding New Mexicans’ land grants rights and land use for common grazing before Charles Bent, the first governor appointed after New Mexico became a U.S. territory.
Martínez served six terms as a legislator in the Assembly of the Department of New Mexico when it was a territory of the Mexican Republic and seven times when it was a U.S. Territory. According to Romero, although Martínez felt proud to be a Mexican when Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, he foresaw the U.S. presence in New Mexico and promoted a bloodless transfer of power from Mexico to the United States…
Compiled by Rev. Juan Romero