I made this card for a friend, Carmen Bean, who is a Real Estate Agent here in San Antonio Texas with Centrury 21. She is an amazing lady who truly cares about her clients and ensures they are happy – and helps them to find the home they love – and for those who are selling their home, she is truly ‘wonderwoman’.
MISSION ESPADA, San Antonio Texas
Several modern churches have been architecturally based on the design of this mission including St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wimberley, Texas, north of San Antonio.
The Mission Espada Acequia (aqueduct) can still be seen today. The main ditch continues to carry water to the mission and its former farm lands. This water is still used by residents living on these neighboring lands.
The use of acequias was originally brought to the arid regions of Spain and Portugalby the Romans and the Moors. When Franciscans missionaries arrived in the desert Southwest they found the system worked well in the hot, dry environment.
Spain founded Mission San Francisco de los Texas in 1690. Along with several others, it served as a buffer against French encroachment from Louisiana. Fevers, floods, fires, enemies, and limited supplies prompted several relocations of this early mission. On March 5, 1731, Mission San Francisco de la Espada was established along this bank of the San Antonio River.
Imagine two diverse cultures – separated by language, values and faith – colliding and merging to create a unique mix.
Spanish Franciscan missionaries pursued a powerful vision for God and country. They aligned and trained the Coahuiltecan (kwa-weel-teken) hunting and gathering cultures to be loyal, productive citizens of New Spain. Over a 50-year period, they earnestly taught the principles of farming, ranching, architecture, blacksmithing, loom weaving, spinning, and masonry. Espada was the only San Antonio mission where bricks and tiles were made. The Catholic faith and Spanish language became the foundation of the new culture.
Many Coahuiltecans, staggered by strange intruders, famine, imported diseases, and enemy tribes, opted for the protection and steady food supply of Mission Espada. Here they mastered Spanish arts and trades.
By the mid-1700’s, these mission walls echoed with the essence of a dynamic community: the blacksmith’s ringing anvil, bellowing livestock, three pounding looms, the clatter of carpentry, and the scrape of the brick maker. Imagine peach orchards and vast fields of beans, corn, and melons beyond the walls, and within, the hum of chants, prayers, and instructional conversations.