The San Fernando Cathedral stands at the center of San Antonio. Founded in 1731 by 15 families from the Canary Islands, San Fernando was established because the Council of the Indies recommended that a civil settlement be set up in remote Texas to prevent an invasion by the French. The cornerstone for the cathedral was placed in 1738. The church was completed in 1749. Still standing today, the original walls make up the current sanctuary. These walls are the oldest standing structure in Texas. From its beginning, the Cathedral was designed to be the center of life in this city. The dome of the original church was the geographic center of the city.
Open to the public, the San Fernando Cathedral plays host to many visitors throughout the year. Hundreds of people enter the church every day to pray and light a candle. More than 5,000 people participate in the weekend masses held throughout the year. Baptisms and funerals are held here frequently. Although Catholic in origin, the Cathedral is not only used for Catholic masses. It is also used by God-loving people from all walks of life to enhance the unity and harmony of San Antonio.
The San Fernando Cathedral is a must see for everyone visiting the San Antonio area. Take a step back in time and see what was important to the founding families of this great city. Here you can truly touch history. Walk in and experience the enduring presence of this cathedral as the spiritual center of San Antonio.
Events at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, TX
A don’t miss event if you plan to be in the San Antonio, Texas area during the holidays is Las Posadas, a Mexican Christmas tradition.
San Fernando Cathedral is a landmark located in the heart of San Antonio. Founded in 1731, the church is visited by thousands of people every year. They come to see the wonderful structure of the cathedral and feel the history about the place.
The church was founded by fifteen families who came together at the invitation of Spain’s King Philip who wanted to build a church. Originally built to cater to the followers of the Catholic faith, the church has now grown in stature and serves the needs of all God fearing peoples of the world. Every week, the church celebrates Mass. Other services like weddings, baptisms and funerals are also held. Many events are celebrated in the Cathedral. Los Posadas is one such event that is famous. The story of the events before the night Christ was born and Joseph’s and Mary’s search for shelter is retold during Los Posadas. This custom was started by San Ignacio de Loyola. It is a Mexican tradition of celebrating Christmas. The main purpose of Los Posadas is to teach people the story of Christ’s birth. It coincides with celebration of the Sun God’s birth, which is basically an Aztec belief.
During the celebration of Las Posadas, young children bearing lighted candles, lead a big procession, singing Spanish hymns, bringing a heavenly air to the event. They carry the figures of Joseph and Mary as if they are looking for shelter to protect the new arrival. People of all ages and all walks of life join the celebrations.
If you are planning a vacation to San Antonio, make sure that it coincides with Los Posadas and enjoy the religious air of the festivities.