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San Antonio, Texas: San Fernando Cathedral

 

The founding of San Antonio:

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In 1730, in response to a Royal decree from the King of Spain calling for the colonization of New Spain (later to become Texas), a group of 16 families (56 people) departed Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, for the New World. They were led by Juan Leal Goraz with his wife, adult children and grandchildren.

In March, 1731, they arrived near the Bexar Presidio and immediately staked out their new community, the Villa de San Fernando. This was the beginning of San Antonio, and Juan Leal Goraz became the first mayor.

 

About San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio:

Named in honor of King Ferdinand III of Spain, the Cathedral has a unique position in the history of this city and for the many visitors who come by the thousands every year. From its founding on March 9, 1731, this church was planned to be at the center of the life of this city. In fact, the Cathedral is built on the exact center of the city and you will see a marker set in the stone floor near the altar stating that.

Altarpiece in the San Ferndando Cathedral in San Antonio
Altarpiece in the San Ferndando Cathedral

The interior has recently been renovated but still includes the magnificent altar, as well as a replica of the statue of “Our Lady of Candelaria” brought from the Canary Islands by the original founders of the city. She is the patron saint of the Canary Islands and devotion to her dates from an apparition by the Virgin Mary in Tenerife. The original statue brought from the Canary Islands to San Antonio was destroyed so what you see today is a replica.

Reliquary near the front door of the Cathdral with the remains of some of the Alamo defenders
Reliquary near the front door of the Cathdral with the remains of some of the Alamo defenders

It also contains a crypt near the front door containing what are reputed to be the remains of some of the defenders of the Alamo.

Over 5,000 people participate at weekend Masses each week of the year and over 100 weddings are performed here. Symphonies, concerts, and television specials are but a few of the events held here.

Hundreds of people enter the church daily to pray, visit, light a candle or follow various devotional traditions.

 

Traveling to the San Fernando Cathedral:

Address: 115 W. Main Plaza, San Antonio, TX, 78205, USA

GPS coordinates: 29° 25′ 27.2748” N, 98° 29′ 39.8904” W

Tel: +1 (210) 227-1297     Fax: +1 (210) 271-0149

e-mail: info@sfcathedral.org

Click here for the official website of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio

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