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Diocese of Zacatecas
Diocese in the Republic of Mexico, suffragan of Guadalajara. Its area is almost he same as that of the State of Zacatecas. Its population (1910) 475,863. The bishop and governor of the state reside in Zacatecas, which has 25,905 inhabitants (census of 1910), situated 2442 metres of above sea level. This territory was conquered and peopled by the Spanish between 1546 and 1548. The first parish, founded in 1569, belonged to the See of Guadalajara. The following orders established themselves in this famous mineral region: Franciscans in 1567; Augustinians, 1576; Dominicans, 1604; Order of St. John, 1610; Jesuits, 1616; and Mercedarians, 1701. The famous College of the Propagation of the Faith, founded by the Venerable Father Margil, and inaugurated, 4 May, 1721, sent out missionaries to Texas, to the French in Louisiana, and to Tamaulipas (1768), and took charge of various missions abandoned by the Jesuits, when expelled from Tarahumara and Lower California. When, in 1836, the Mexican Government asked that a bishopric be created at San Francisco, California, Francisco Garcia Diego of this college was consecrated first bishop in 1849. During the religious persecution in 1859 all the religious of the college were imprisoned, and all priests who denied absolution to those who had given their oath to the constitution of 1857, were liable to punishment; the few priests in the town hastily fled. The Diocese of Zacatecas was created from parishes of Guadalajara by Pius IX in 1863, and became suffragan of Guadalajara. It has: 2 seminaries with 101 students; 144 parochial schools, 19 colleges with about 7000 students. Protestants have 3 colleges with 55 students and 9 churches. The cathedral was begun in 1612 and completed in 1782. Its facade is of red stone, elegant, severe, and grandiose. On the hill known as the Bufa, on the outskirts of Zacatecas, is the venerated sanctuary of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios.
VERA, Catecismo geogr. hist. estad. de la Iglesia Mexicana (Amecameca, 1881); SOTOMAYOR, Historia del apostolico Colegio de Ntra Sra de Guadalupe de Zacatecas.