Father Serra - Missionary

Father Serra - Missionary
Always forward, never back

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Father Serra in Mexico

Well before being assigned as President Guardian of the California mission, Father Serra was President Guardian of the Sierra Gorda missions in Querétaro State of Mexico. The Sierra Gorda is a mountain area of the Oriental Sierra Madre, a mountain range that lies from South to North along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from the northern part of Coahuila, close to the border with the USA to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec which is the geographic mark of Central America.

In those years, Father Sierra and others toiled to provide a better life for los Indios by establishing missions in these rugged mountains. The five they established are:

Santiago de Jalpan -

Built between 1751 and 1758, this mission was led by Father Junipero Serra. It was the first of five missions and is therefore dedicated to the Apostle James, the saint of the military to defend the faith in this new land as it began to be evangelized.

Its facade is bright saffron and is invaded by a measles flowers. In the niche once occupied by the image of St. James is today a clock, set in 1898 by General Rafael Olvera, who was more famous for his aesthetic offense than for his military achievements.

Nuestra Señora de la Luz de Tancoyol in the municipality of Jalpan

Attributed to Fray Juan Ramos de Lora, this mission was built between 1761 and 1767. Its facade is iconographically the most elaborate, and seen as traditional construction details together with Mexican indigenous elements, like a jaguar and characters with Olmec features. The facade represents a number of saints gathered in choir at Our Lady of Light and flourishing vegetation spiral columns of limestone, so it is said to symbolize divina estético, mercy.

Santa María del Agua de Landa

Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, the church is perhaps the most ornate of the five. It was built between 1761 and 1764 by Fray Miguel de la Campa.

On various levels of the facade gather all the characters that make up the City of God: Christ, the archangels, apostles, martyrs, nuns and writers. Excel, at the top and center, San Miguel Archangel, winner of the devil. Landa's mission marks the end of the spiritual conquest of the Sierra Gorda.

San Francisco del Valle de Tilaco in Landa
[Notice, this mission is named the same as the one in California.]

The beautiful missions buildings of Sierra Gorda are a testimony to the evangelization of New Spain, nestled between mountains, the Franciscan churches have rich history and meticulous eye for details that adorn its facade, which was inscribed in them List of World Heritage in 2003.

Mission San Francisco de Asis Tilaco is one of the most important historical monuments in the region, was built during 1744 and 1762, while between 1984 and 1994 was restored by the state government, the site features choir, baptistery, sacristy, cloister, chapel and garden, among other things.

Although the mission was built on a slope, the ground was leveled at the time of the building, the cover of the enclosure is of baroque style, framed by sculptures of St. Peter and St. Paul that guard the door.

At the top, presiding over the mission, San Francisco is located in the place of honor, surrounded by cherubs, some eagle-like ease in pre-Hispanic.

In a fertile valley lies the church of Our Lady of Light Tancoyol. Built between 1760 and 1766, the architectural ensemble is composed of a chapel, choir, sacristy, cloister and rectory.

In addition to being built with stone walls 1.20 meters thick, flat and paint finishes, the roof is vaulted and domed octagonal shape.

This mission has the most elaborate facade of the monuments of the mission route Queretaro, it is St. Paul with a sword, St. Peter's keys and shields Franciscans on the door is the space where it was Our Lady of Light, which is now empty, is above the choir window rhomboid-shaped, surrounded by a detailed and colorful embossed Franciscan cord.

On the facade you can see the niches Santa Ana, San Joaquin, San Roque with his trusty dog, and San Antonio de Padua, on top sits the Jerusalem Cross, the Cross of Calatrava and Santa Cruz.

While the church of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception of the water, Landa de Matamoros, is an architectural complex located in a place covered with high hills, was built between 1760 and 1768 and is composed of a chapel, baptistry, sacristy, cloister , atrium and garden.

In regard to home, it has countless baroque ornaments with vegetal motifs and angels holding draperies, as well as the sculpture of the Immaculate Conception are many saints who guard the compound, as St. James of the Mark, San Bernardino Siena, San Juan Capistrano and San Francisco.

Also, the sides of the oculus are two important figures of the Franciscan order: the theologian John Duns Scotus and Sister Mary of Jesus Argreda and shields required in all missions.
San Miguel Concá in Arroyo Seco

San Miguel de Abella de la Conca was a church of the end of Abella de la Conca, in the Catalan region of Pallars Jussà dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

Located in the southeastern village of Abella de la Conca, named after a village in Catalonia, on a hill in the northeast of the house of Cal Vilar, southeast of the Cal Serret and west of the place known as The Botant. It is a very hidden and hard to find. The reference may be the ruins of a hut on a hill east of the hill above. The ruins are on the northwest side of the hill, hidden by vegetation, the principle of a slope.

This church, now only a few courses of stone which show the shape of the Romanesque apse. The few remnants that remain do not let you see the structure of the church, but it was necessarily a very small temple, possibly from a single ship. The apse may have been squared, the courses kept

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