Saturday, April 18, 2009

San Miguel Mission, Socorro, New Mexico

The city of Socorro, New Mexico is built in the center of a Spanish land grant. Socorro comes from the Spanish word "socorrer" (similar to the English word "succor") which translates as "to offer comfort" or "to aid". The Spanish arriving in the area in the late 1500s found friendly Indians who were willing to share their corn with them.

In the middle of Socorro, the San Miguel Mission church still exists as an active functioning church. Founded in 1598, it is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the United States. The church was founded and built (with help from local Indians) by Fray Alfonso Benevidez, who is called the Apostle of Socorro.

The church has been called the Mission de San Miguel since 1800. It has undergone many changes through the years, and was originally a structure in the adobe pueblo style, but now only bears a slight resemblance to the original style. to me it now has the look more of California's Spanish missions rather than New Mexico's.

We were there two weeks ago and I got these pictures:


WasSoggyInSeattle said...

Beautiful pics of the church. Your stories of Socorro and surrounds makes me want to go down there and explore more.

Towanda said...

The area was more interesting and had a lot more to see and a let more beautiful scenery than I thought it would have.

Kris, in New England said...

Wow - that is gorgeous! And what a fantastic history.

Buck said...

I was a bit out of sorts yesterday when I first read this and couldn't think of an appropriate comment. But it came to me today... New Mexico's mission churches are EVERY bit as fine as those storied California missions, and more so, in some respects. IMHO, of course.