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Señor del Buen Despacho Church

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Señor_del_Buen_Despacho
Photo: Carlos Roberto Gobe on Wikimedia Commons

The Tlacoquemécatl Church – the Señor del Buen Despacho Church – is preserved from an original hermitage believed to have been here already in the 16th century. A similar date can be ascribed to the atrial cross. This is of particular interest for the clearly indigenous carvings. However, the church itself has been modified multiple times over the centuries as is evident from its relatively modern appearance. Inside, it’s still a wonderful place to visit.

Curiously, el Señor del Buen Despacho can be understood as a peculiarly Mexican aspect of the Christ figure. Our Lord of the Prompt Dispatch, as his title might be interpreted, seems to originate with a side chapel in the Metropolitan Cathedral.

A gift to the church from Spanish King Carlos V, the figure is said to most quickly deliver petitions submitted by supplicants. The side chapel in the Cathedral replaced an earlier chapel long maintained by the very wealthy guild of silversmiths. The guild, and thus its generous support, were dissolved in 1867. Thus, the patronage may reflect that rather desperate moment for the cathedral.

Today the church is a curiosity in the Jardín del Arte Tlacoquemécatl. International visitors will mostly experience it from the distance of the park. But appreciating it, even from a distance, may just mean learning a little about it.

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