Sunday, January 12, 2014

San Pedro Church

San Pedro Church
Cartagena, Columbia

"Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias (Spanish pronunciation: [kartaˈxena ðe ˈindjas], "Cartagena of the Indies"), is a city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of the Bolívar Department. The port city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region, after Barranquilla. The Cartagena urban area is also the fifth-largest urban area in the country. Economic activities include maritime and petrochemicals industry, as well as tourism.
"The city was founded on June 1, 1533, and named after Cartagena, Spain. However, settlement in this region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC....Cartagena is the city most associated with pirates in the Caribbean, and the world. In 1984 Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site" (Link 1.)
San Pedro Church
"Cartagena’s Catedral de San Pedro Claver, so close to the sea wall, seems unduly imposing for such a sanctified site. Begun in 1575, when this was a very rough neighborhood, its unfinished fortifications were destroyed in 1586 during a tiff with Sir Francis Drake and his pirate crew, and rebuilt by 1602.

"Its namesake, San Pedro Claver Corberó, did not arrive until 1610. The Spanish-born priest arrived in Cartagena, then a slave-trading hub, as a novice priest. Horrified by the treatment of African captives, sold to a motley crew of middlemen on what’s now Plaza de los Coches, the young man became an activist, writing in his diary, “Pedro Claver, slave of the slaves forever (3 April 1622).”

"Pedro would not only baptize newly enslaved arrivals right in the cathedral’s courtyard well (which was already controversial), but he would then explain to the newly saved that they deserved all the rights held by other Christian citizens of the Spanish Empire. This didn’t go over well with their new “owners,” not to mention most of his fellow Jesuits. The Vatican, already officially (if not actively) against slavery, would go on to canonize him in 1888.

"The saint’s remains are preserved in the illuminated glass coffin in the altar, and bring in pilgrims that have included Pope John Paul II. The cavernous interior’s arches and columns, hewn from the same pale stone as the sea walls, seem infused with light. The main wooden altar, though not as heavy with gold gilt and precious stones as some, is considered one of Colombia’s most beautiful. The detailed stained glass is also exceptional." (Link 2.)

Photos: Taken in October 2013 by SW.
Link 2:


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen 

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