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Jesuit Apple: an intense journey through history

Get to know details of the Jesuit Square, one of the main educational and religious centers erected by the religious order in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe

We present you a triad of Santafesina history. The proposal includes a key point for local tourism : the Jesuit Square. This religious Order, called the Society of Jesus, has much to do not only with the founding stage of the city, but also with the present day.

When one looks at the plane of the primitive city (in what is now Cayastá) and compares it with the current hull, distinguishes, to simple view, that the location of the College and the Matriz-Cathedral Church Metropolitan have the same location as the foundation. Both flank the Plaza 25 de Mayo, the first to the east and the second to the north. The ones two other flanks were occupied by buildings that no longer exist and, in their instead, the Government House to the South and the Court Palace to the West.

The arrival of the Jesuits at the Rio de la Plata, for the purpose of evangelizing and educating, meant nothing more and nothing less than the operation of the country's first organized school. Based in Santa Fe La Vieja witnessed, together with the locals, the first mystery of the Image of Pure and Clean Concepción. From his painting poured out a miraculous water which, when it was embedded in cotton and clothes, produced the cure of ills and diseases. This fact was duly testified and documented before the scribe, with which the Santafesinos began to call upon Our Lady with the title “Our Lady of the Miracles.”

A temple, a living history

At the beginning of this tour, we visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Miracles. Built in 1610, in ancient Santa Fe, it was moved to the current location after the floods of the river and repeated malon attacks led to the departure of the site we now call Cayastá. The city was refounded in the place where it is now, respecting the primitive order.

Completed in 1670 the construction of colonial and neoclassical style, as seen on this visit, houses a Altarpiece built in the former Reduction of Loreto which, in the center, contains the canvas of Our Lady, made by Luis Berger SJ and the relics of miraculous cotton wool. It is guarded by sculptures of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and three other Jesuit saints.


The altar, which at the time of its construction was attached to the altarpiece, was removed from it after the Vatican Council II, to allow the priest to give the mass in front of the public. The walls have thicknesses of more than two meters and are of tapia, river stone Parana and adobe. Originally, it consisted of a central nave shaped like a cross. and then two side ships were added.

Ancient and important imagery, some coming from the reductions, is located on the side walls; are the sculptures of the Christ tied to the Column and of the Christ of the Patience. Six stained glass windows reflect different moments lived in the Sanctuary and at the College. One of them, with the faces of the students who officiated in models, sets up a curious fact because until very recently some of them recognized themselves in the work. The front has suffered some modifications, but, in general, retains the original structure, with a bell tower with three bells and three windows that open to the square, from the chorus.

Another relevant fact is the existence of the organ of 1886, the only one in Argentina manufactured by Aristide himself Cavaillé-Coll, and not his successor Charles Mutin. The crypt, housed in the Sanctuary, is also part of the curiosities that the Jesuit community has to offer in this temple.

Publication Date: 11/03/2020

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