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Fray Antonio Alcalde y Barriga

Friar Antonio Alcalde y Barriga was born in 1701 in Valladolid, Spain.

He devoted his life to teaching and was in charge of many convents such as Santo Domingo in Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico and Jesus Maria de Valverde in Fuencarral, Madrid in 1753.

In 1760, in Valverde, he met King Charles III, who was astonished by his austere lifestyle. A bed made out of wood, books over a table, a crucifix, and a human skull. When the King had to present the Pope a candidate for Yucatan's archbishopric, he chose Antonio Alcalde who he called, and is still known as the "friar of the skull."

The bishopric's decisions lead him to Guadalajara in 1771, where he founded several churches, houses, shelters and public schools. You can visit some of these places near here, for example:

  1. •The University of Guadalajara, the only public university in Jalisco, which was located in what today is the Octavio Paz Ibero-American Library.

  2. •The Fray Antonio Alcalde Hospital, previously known as Royal San Miguel de Belen Hospital, which has received thousands of patients since 1787.

  3. •The Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, a church he ordered to build, and where his remains rest.

We hope you to continue to enjoy the historic center of Guadalajara. And that you learn more about Friar Antonio Alcalde and the legacy of other Honorable Citizens of Jalisco.