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Pronto Socorro Church, Popotla

Nuestra senora de pronto socorro, popotla
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Nuestra Señora del Pronto Socorro Church is the parish church of the old town of Popotla. It’s one of just five original settlements in all of Miguel Hidalgo. The church is noteworthy, more than anything, for the town it represents. That town was long known as San Estaban Popotla, part of the diocese of colonial-era Tacuba. The old St. Steven church was demolished at the turn of the 20th century.

  • “Popotla” is a good reminder of how much Nahuatl language permeates Mexico City culture even today. The name means simply between the reeds, or between the popotes. The word popote is still commonly used for drinking straws in most of Mexico.

Popotla the town has long been remembered as the site of the Tree of the Victorious Night, which is practically next door. The graveyard here, long since lost, is said to have included the rock where Hernán Cortés actually wept. In fact, a hermitage of some type was  built here already in the 16th century. Fray Bernardino de Sahagún made a reference to it in his Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España. 

The parish began building a first version of this church in about 1900. But it was replaced again in the mid-20th century. It was rededicated to Virgin of the Pronto Socorro. A chapel on the east side of the temple is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

  • Our Lady of Prompt Succor dates from December, 1810, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The crowning of her statue was sanctioned by Pope Leo XIII and carried out by the archbishop there in 1895.

It’s likely that the parishioners here sought a more modern replacement for the older San Estaban. But today, the map of the neighborhood shows what was likely a modest colonial era town. The Merced de las Huertas chapel and and an earlier one at the site of the San Antonio Temple recall an agricultural community of some importance. The Popotla we visit today is still most famous for the Victorian-era homes built at the turn of the 20th century. This was the hey-day of the Villa Azcapotzalco and Tacuba and when Santa Maria la Ribera and San Rafael came into their own.


How to get here
  • Calz México-Tacuba 490, Popotla, Miguel Hidalgo, 11400 CDMX
  • +525576785783


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