The old Sanctorum Church is today almost hidden behind a small city park at the point where General Arista intersects with the Calzada Mexico-Tacuba. The church dates from the early 17th century (possibly late 16th century). It was likely built on top of a ceremonial site from the village on the outskirts of Tlacopan (today’s Tacuba). The village is remembered for the proliferation of flowers and fruit trees, but this likely is reflective of the nature of the rich orchard soil in the area.
The town of Sanctorum, “place of saints,” came to surround the original village and was dependent on the nearby San Joaquin Monastery. This church is the oldest in this region although the earliest date to be found within it is from 1668. After an illustrious colonial period, the church only barely survived the 19th century. By the 20th, it was roofless and the subject of discussion as to its demolition.
The Sanctorum Church became a national monument in 1932, although it remained a ruin until the 1940s.
One of the oldest in the city, the Sanctorum Church graveyard maintained a constant relationship with the surrounding community, even for the many decades when the church was roofless and abandoned. In 1931, it was converted to a civilly administered cemetery and greatly expanded.
The Civil Pantheon of Sanctorum holds records going back to 1904. Burials here were conducted much further back in history, but no record of numbers nor even of persons is recorded. The giant civil cemetery was intentionally separated from that of the colonial era church.