The Crosses of Malpique, the story about ‘The martyrs of Tazacorte’.
On July 17, 1570, 40 Jesuits died in the vicinity of Punta Larga (Fuencaliente). The ship “Santiago” departed from Portugal with destination Brazil. The Jesuits, led by Father Ignacio de Acevedo, wanted to stop in Santa Cruz de La Palma (the third largest port in the world at the time), but when they noticed that they were being chased by pirates, they decided to sail to Tazacorte.
Upon arrival in Tazacorte, Father Acevedo was obviously very surprised when he met his old friend Melchor de Monteverde y Pruss. Don Melchor invited his old friend to his estate and as a thank you, the priest gave a small chest with relics.
Thinking that the pirates had given up their attempts, they headed for Santa Cruz (sailing close to the coast). Off the coast of Fuencaliente they were raided by Huguenot and pirate Jacques Souris, a renegade Catholic and papyrus.
At the second entering, a large number of pirates jumped over and above and below decks hunted everything that wore a black skirt. Some killed them immediately, others undressed them to the naked body, chopped off their hands and threw them into the sea. One Jesuit survived the slaughter, Joao Sanchos. He was a cook and such a person could use the pirates. So he could retell it.
At the place where the Jesuits were thrown into the sea, the massacre was commemorated in 2000 by sinking 40 crosses in honor of the martyrs. Before that, the 40 Jesuits had just been declared sacred. A real underwater monument and described as one of the top spots in Spain!
In the church of Tazacorte you can see a number of paintings that tell the whole story. In the church of ‘Nuestra Señora de Angustias’ you can find the chalice and the relics.
On 15 July, this event is commemorated during the procession for the saintly Martyrs of Tazacorte (Santos Mártires de Tazacorte, Procesión del beato portugués Ignacio de Acevedo.)