Santo of Saint Francis

Used by missionaries to communicate with American Indian groups

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This santo of Saint Francis from the late 1700s to early 1800s was found in a San Antonio mission. Roman Catholic paintings and sculptures of specific saints, the santo tradition was brought to the Americas by the Spanish in the early 1500s.

Arriving in Mexico in 1523, Franciscans, followers of St. Francis, were the first missionaries in New Spain. One of the early goals of Spanish settlement was to convert the American Indian groups that they met. Franciscans used visuals such as santos to communicate their faith despite language barriers.



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Santo of Saint Francis Artifact from San Antonio
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