Monthly Archives: May 2023

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY, Santo Domingo Church, Mexico City

Santo Domingo Church, in the historical centre of Mexico City, is the Mother Church of the Dominican Order in Mexico. According to chroniclers it is rated as “one of the finest churches in the capital as well as one of the oldest.”

The original church was built in 1571 just a few years after the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortez. Because of the “sinking of the city” (due to the city being built on subterranean, sandy soil)) it was, by 1607, “almost nine feet out of the perpendicular”!! At this point King Philip ll ordered the church to be restored, but by 1716 it had sunk again!

The original Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also in Mexico City, suffered the same fate. You can see the old Basilica beside the new Basilica. When you are inside the old Basilica you will notice this “sinking” aspect as soon as you enter the building. It has a decided slant to it!

The present-day Dominican church had to be rebuilt on its foundations and was completed in 1736. It was consecrated in 1754 by Dominican bishop, Fray Francisco Pallas and is considered “one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Mexico.”

Its stunning Rosary chapel is the setting for the church’s “principal treasure,” a “jewel-life figure of Our Lady of the Rosary. According to one historian, the life-sized statue of Our Lady of the Rosary “seems to be a living figure.” “The eyes appear to move, the figure to respire and the face to be alight with a thousand changes of expression. Even the Infant on His Mother’s arm looks as though He were about to speak.” You may be able to notice this phenomenon even from the photograph posted in this article.

La Capilla del Rosario—The Rosary Chapel—is the shrine and spiritual headquarters for the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. It was founded in 1538 “only a few years after Cortes conquered the armies of Moctezuma”. The Dominican chronicler, Fray Juan Jose Moya, writing in 1757, affirms that the work of the Confraternity was already remarkable even in the early years of its existence. They did many works of mercy for the poor and struggling in the city. The devotion to THE PERPETUAL ROSARY has its headquarters at the shrine and at any hour of the day one is sure to see several people praying the Rosary before the altar.

On October 14, 1945, “by the authority of His Holiness Pius XII, the coronation of Our Lady of the Rosary with the pontifical crown took place.” A sublime honour for Our Lady of the Rosary!

And there she resigns today in her golden chapel.

Salve Regina!