Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches
A study of santos in 16th-century and other churches in Oaxaca, Mexico
By Claire and Richard Stracke
Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation
Three Unidentified Saints
| Three Unidentified Saints:
On the left is a monk with a book in the left hand, in the middle a bishop with a church on a book in the left hand, and on the right a bishop with a book in the left hand. Each figure bears a phrase from the Apostles' Creed. The one on the left has the words ESTA SENTADO A LA DIESTRA DE DIOS PADRE TODO PODEROSO ("is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty" – possibly preceded by the phrase subió a los cielos.)
On the middle santo are the words QUE FUÉ CONCEVIDO POR OVRA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO, Y NACIÓ DE SANTA MARIA VIRGEN ("Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Holy Virgin Mary").
For the santo on the right, we can make out only the word UNICO, which would be from the second phrase of the Creed, Creo en Jesucristo su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor ("I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord.")
Basis for Identification: The
monastic status of the santo on the left is signaled by
his cowl and tonsure. The bishop in the middle wears a
mitre, a sign of his office. The mitre on the bishop on
the right could possibly be identified as a papal tiara.
Site: Former convento of San Pedro y
San Pablo, Teposcolula.
Location: In a room off the southwest corner of the garden of the former convento (see note).
Comparable santos in the former
convento are emblazoned with phrases that form almost
the entire Apostles' Creed:
Introduction to Teposcolula
Note: On this site, references to the cardinal directions always assume that the main altar is at the east end of the church, the narthex or entry area at the west end, and the two walls of the nave on the north and south. (The nave is the long central section.) In the case of the former convento at Teposcolula, directional references align with those of the Teposcolula church. Actual orientations may differ.
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