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Diocese of Querétaro
Located in Mexico; suffragan of Michoacan. Its area is that of the state of the same name, 4492 sq. miles, population, 243,515 (census of 1910). The principal city, residence of the bishop and the governor, is Querétaro, population (1910), 35,011, founded by the Otomis Indians in 1446, and occupied by the Spaniards since 1531. The Carmelites established themselves there in 1601, the Dieguinos in 1613, the Fathers of Mercy in 1636, the Dominicans in 1692; the Augustinians and the Fathers of the Oratory of St. Philip also had houses in Querétaro. The Jesuit college of Saint Francis Xavier was suppressed in 1767 by Charles III on the occasion of the expulsion of all Jesuits from the Spanish possessions. One of the most notable institutions of Querétaro was the college of Apostolic missionaries, which Innocent XI called the greatest influence for the propagation of the Faith in the Indies. Missionaries went forth from it to evangelize Sonora, California, Texas, and Tamaulipas. In 1848 the Government of the Republic asked for some of its members to take charge of the missions of Sierra Gorda. Almost all of the present diocese of Querétaro formed part of the Archdiocese of Mexico until 26 January, 1862, when by the Bull "Optimum Maximum" of Pius IX, the See of Querétaro was created. The diocese has two seminaries with 128 students; it numbers 101 parochial schools and nine Catholic colleges, which together contain 5195 students. There are one Protestant college with 65 students and two Protestant churches. Adjoining the residence of the bishop in the capital near the church of La Cruz, is the Convent of La Cruz, occupied as headquarters by Maximilian during the siege of the city by General Escobedo in May, 1867. The Capuchin Convent was used as a prison for the Emperor Maximilian and his two generals, Miramon and Mejia. It was on the hill of Las Campanas on the outskirts of the town that these generals were shot, 19 June, 1867. An elaborate mortuary chapel has replaced the former modest monument erected on the site. At Querétaro was ratified in 1848 the treaty by which Mexico ceded to the United States, at the close of the war, the territory covered by Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Upper California.
VERA, Catecismo geográfico-histórico-estadístico de la iglesia mexicana (Amecameca, 1881); NORIEGA, Geografía de la república mexicana (Mexico, 1898); DOMENECH, Guia general descriptiva de la república mexicana (Mexico, 1899).