By Alicia Neaves
PRESIDIO - The oldest town in the State of Texas also happens to be home to the first recorded celebration of Christmas. 330 years ago, two groups of people joined together and held the first Christmas celebration in Texas at Santa Teresa de Jesus.
"The first recorded Christmas happened at La Junta de los Rios, which is where the Rio Concho, the Rio Grande, the Rio Bravo all with the Cibolo Creek meet. Back in 1683, the Spanish were exploring the land and Juan Dominguez Mendoza expedition passed through there. They stopped because there was water, which is a great way of survival as we know. So they got to this place and celebrated with all the Indians that were there, the Native Americans that were there and the Spanish and people in this expedition celebrated the first Christmas mass ever," Father Fabian Marquez, Former Pastor of Santa Teresa de Jesus Catholic Church, said.
Marquez is no stranger to Presidio. He was a Pastor at Santa Teresa de Jesus for two years. Before his arrival as their priest, not too many knew about this valuable piece of history.
"I noticed that while there was a rich culture, a lot of things were not being exposed that were happening. People did not know that they had this great treasure so one of the things that I did as a priest with the people was we need to fix the church," Marquez said.
Since the church's renovation and the mural across the street was dedicated to its story, many visitors flock through their doors to join in celebrating the monumental anniversary. Something so rich in historical value is still uniting different groups of people over 300 years later.
"They have a gold mine sent from God that Christmas was celebrated there. And in the future we hope that people can go and share their faith and pray," Marquez said.
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