Leytes, Mateo José (1883–1963)

By Eugenio Di Dionisio

×

Eugenio Di Dionisio

First Published: January 29, 2020

Mateo José Leytes was a pastor, canvasser, and nurse in Paraguay.

Mateo Leytes was born on September 21, 1883, in São Luiz Gonzaga, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. On December 28, 1908, he was baptized by pastor Luis Ernst in Itacaruaré, Misiones Province, Argentina.

He completed the three-year nursing course at the River Plate Sanitarium, Entre Ríos, Argentina, and was part of the second group of graduates who finished the course in 1913. From April 28, 1914 he served as a missionary in the Alto Parana Mission, church territory where the Paraguay Union of Churches is currently located. With his arrival at Asunción, Paraguay, in 1914, the medical missionary work began in Paraguay.1

In 1915, Mateo Leytes accompanied the missionary Pedro Brouchy on a tour to General Paz and San Miguel, Corrientes, at the direction of Pastor Julio Ernst, president of the mission. In 1916, Leytes was a Bible worker in an evangelistic campaign in Asunción, Paraguay, led by Pastor Arturo Westphal. Brouchy considered Mateo Leytes as the main stability factor of Adventist work in Paraguay.2

On April 5, 1916 he married Virginia Esquivel, who was born in General Paz, Corrientes Province, Argentina. His five daughters were born in Paraguay: Dora, María, Irma, Clara, and Ana Elena.3

His ministry expanded in Paraguay. He was a devoted canvasser: He risked his life on several occasions by visiting the towns in the interior of the country dominated at the time by religious fanaticism. The medical missionary work was an extremely favorable tool for that time.4 He served as chief nurse at the Military Hospital in Asunción.5

He was ordained to the pastoral ministry in February 1929, in a ceremony officiated by pastors C. B. Haynes, E. L. Maxwell and J. W. Westphal.6

There was a time when the Asuncion Adventist group of just twelve members met at Mateo Leytes' house.7

He suddenly died on May 1st, 1963, in the Asuncion Adventist Sanitarium as a result of an accident that had occurred the day before. While crossing the street, he was hit by a vehicle. With his death, the Adventist Church in Paraguay lost one of its most tireless and brave pioneers who gave everything for the progress of the church.8

Sources

Baer, Roscoe T. “Progress All Along the Way.” South American Bulletin, vol. 1, nº 1, November 1925.

Brouchy, Pedro M. “Memorias de un misionero adventista” [Memories of an Adventist missionary] (1967). Unpublished file, available in the White Research Center, River Plate Adventist University, Entre Ríos, Argentina. Accessed on November 1st, 2018.

Brown, Henry F. “Here and There in the Austral.” South American Bulletin, vol. 6, nº 9, September 1930.

Christman, L. H. “Alto Paraná Mission.” Southern Union Worker, vol. 17, nº 40, October 10, 1923.

Christman, L. E. “Our Work in Asunción-Paraguay.” South American Bulletin, vol. 2, nº 12, April 1926.

D’Argenio, Ricardo. “Necrología” [Obituary]. La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], year 63, nº 12, December 1963.

Ernst, Julio. “Informe del Superintendente” [Superintendent’s Report]. La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], vol. 16, nº 3, March-April 1916.

Haynes, Carlyle B. “The Austral Union Session.” South American Bulletin, vol. 5, nº 4, April 1929.

Leytes, Mateo. “La obra médico-misionera en Asunción, Paraguay” [The medical missionary work in Asunción, Paraguay], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], n° 12, December 1914.

Leytes, Mateo. “La obra médica-misionero en Asunción, Paraguay” [The medical missionary work in Asunción, Paraguay]. South American Bulletin, vol. 14, nº 12, December 1914.

Leytes, Mateo. “Un libramiento providencial” [A providential release]. La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], year 23, nº 6, April 1923.

Utz Goltz, Mario H. y Nilda T. Potes Maschmann. La Iglesia Adventista en el Paraguay [The Adventist Church in Paraguay]. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2013.

Wensell, Niels. “Comienzo, desarrollo y progreso de la obra médica en el Paraguay” [Beginning, development and progress of medical work in Paraguay]. La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], n° 12, December 1986.

Notes

  1. Mateo Leytes, “La obra médico-misionera en Asunción, Paraguay” [The medical missionary work in Asunción, Paraguay], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], n° 12, December 1914, 14. Niels Wensell, “Comienzo, desarrollo y progreso de la obra médica en el Paraguay” [Beginning, development and progress of medical work in Paraguay], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], n° 12, December 1986, 2-3, 15.

  2. Pedro M. Brouchy, “Memorias de un misionero adventista” [Memories of an Adventist missionary] (1967), unpublished file, available at White Research Center, River Plate Adventist University, Entre Ríos, Argentina, accessed on November 1st, 2018.

  3. Archivo de Registros de Servicios de la Unión Austral [Service Records Archive of the Austral Union]. Sustentation Fund Application, November 14, 1930. Prontuario Familiar del Obrero [Family Record of the worker], June 21, 1939. Ricardo D’Argenio, “Necrología” [Obituary], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], year 63, nº 12, December 1963, 18, 19.

  4. Mateo Leytes, “La obra médica-misionero en Asunción, Paraguay” [The medical-missionary work in Asunción, Paraguay], South American Bulletin, vol. 14, nº 12, December 1914, 14. “Un libramiento providencial” [A providence release], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], year 23, nº 6, April 1923, 7. L. H. Christman, “Alta Paraná Mission,” Southern Union Worker, vol. 17, nº 40, October 10, 1923, 6. Roscoe T. Baer, “Progress All Along the Way,” South American Bulletin, vol. 1, nº 1, November 1925, 3. L. E. Christman, “Our Work in Asunción-Paraguay,” South American Bulletin, vol. 2, nº 12, April 1926, 4, 5. Henry F. Brown, “Here and There in the Austral,” South American Bulletin, vol. 6, nº 9, September 1930, 4, 5.

  5. Julio Ernst, “Informe del Superintendente” [Superintendent's Report], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], vol. 16, nº 3, March-April 1916, 19.

  6. Carlyle B. Haynes, “The Austral Union Session,” South American Bulletin, vol. 5, nº 4, April 1929, 5, 6. Pastoral ordination of Francisco Brouchy, Godofredo Block (h), Mateo Leytes, Harold C. Brown, J. S. Marshall, J. M. Howell, C. E. Westphal and J. H. Meier.

  7. Basilio Zawadzki, email message to Daniel Plenc, March 12, 2013.

  8. Mario H. Utz Goltz y Nilda T. Potes Maschmann, Adventist Church in Paraguay (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2013), 44-46.

×

Dionisio, Eugenio Di. "Leytes, Mateo José (1883–1963)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed June 26, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6GKA.

Dionisio, Eugenio Di. "Leytes, Mateo José (1883–1963)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access June 26, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6GKA.

Dionisio, Eugenio Di (2020, January 29). Leytes, Mateo José (1883–1963). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 26, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6GKA.