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Friday, April 16, 2010

San Antonio Mission San Jose Rose Window

The San Jose Mission was named for Saint Joseph and the Marquez de San Miguel de Aguayo, the govenor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas at the time. It was built on the banks of the San Antonio River. Its founder was the famed Father Antonio Margil de Jesus, a very prominent Franciscan missionary in early Texas. Mission San Jose is an active parish. Visitors are welcome to attend mass on Sundays.

Mission San Jose has become a lasting symbol throughout the centuries for the Spanish mission frontier in Texas.

Having fallen into disrepair and partial run over the years, the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Federal Government , among others took to restoring portions of the mission community in the 1920's and 30's. The Church, which had lost its dome, bell tower, and a wall was rededicated in 1937. In 1941, it was declared a State Historic Site, and later that same year, a National Historic Site.

Much of what is visible today was reconstructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930's. The Archdiocese of San Antonio and San Jose parish are responsible for any maintenance and preservation work needed on the church structure itself. About 80% of the church is original.

La Ventana de Rosa, the Rose Window, is located on the south wall of the church sacristy. The window has been described as the site where the Host was shown to gathered mission celebrants during the Feast of Pentecost. The window, sculpted ca. 1775, has been the object of both legend and admiration. It is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America. The meaning behind the name is currently unknown, but legend has it named for Rosa, the betrothed of Juan Huizar who many believe created the window. Photos taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

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