A bit out of the way, as is fitting for recollection, San Diego recoleta church and convent specialize in recollection, or meditation. Here, the religious and secular can dedicate themselves to a very holy life dedicated to recollection and serving God to better live out the first commandment.
In 1598 construction blossomed under a Franciscan priest, Bartolome Rubio. The magnificence of the library served him well. Franciscan nuns taught here.
The recoleta church opens to the public on weekends at the time of the Mass. I arrived just as the 7:00 AM Mass ended, and after a few minutes promptly left - as the doorkeeper prepared to lock up. The museum posts its daily schedule outside its door.
Recoletas emerged at the time of the Council of Trent under Pope Pius V at the beginning of the 17th century. The thick walls insulate, shutting out the noise for the silence the religious desire and need for meditation, barring the world out.
The grandiose pulpit forms a magnificent chalice.
In a special small chapel, La Virgen de Las Mercedes del Volcan, much older than the Recoleta, awaits veneration. This statue appeared 100 years earlier from the crater of Volcan Pichincha... what a find!
A special small chapel dedicated to the souls in purgatory, holds a retablo donated to Quito by Pope Pius IX for having Ecuador completely consecrated to the Sacred Heart... the only country in the world so privileged.
Enemies of the Church could not prevent this special country from such a blessing. Though, they martyred the president, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, responsible for the consecration, they only gave it a higher privilege through his blood.
San Diego Recoleta Church and Convent reign colonial in their niche of the city that rests by a cemetery... so fitting to him who died for Christ. Meditation for Catholics includes death but in a very positive way.
quito-colonial.com copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved.