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Diocese of Saltillo

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Diocese in the Republic of Mexico, suffragan of Linares, or Monterey. Its area is the same as that of the State of Coahuila (63,728 sq. miles), and its population (1910), 357,652. The city of Saltillo (5190 feet above the sea-level) is the principal residence of the bishop and of the Governor of the State of Coahuila, and, according to above census, has a population of 35,063. This city was founded in 1575 by Francisco Urdinola, and inhabited by the Huachichiles and Borrados Indians of the country, and by Tlaxcaltecas brought by the Spanish. The Franciscan Father Andres de Leon was one of the first missionaries in this territory in the sixteenth century. In 1827 the name of Saltillo was changed to Ciudad Leona Vicario, in honor of the celebrated Mexican heroine of that name, but the original name always prevailed. The Franciscan Fathers of the Province of Jalisco had eight missions in Coahuila, which, in 1777, formed part of the See of Linares, or Monterey, and belonged to it until 1891, when Leo XIII erected the See of Saltillo with jurisdiction over the entire State of Coahuila.

This see has a seminary, with 20 students; 26 parochial schools ; 10 Catholic colleges, among these that of St. John Nepomucene ; they have altogether 3000 pupils, both boys and girls. The Protestants have 10 colleges with 781 pupils, and 33 churches. In the capital, Saltillo, the present cathedral, which was the former parish church, is worthy of mention. The city of Parras de la Fuente, with a population of 7000, is also notable. It owes its name to the wild grape vines found there by the Conquistadores. D. Antonio Martín of Sapata, and Fray Agustin de Espinosa, who founded the city there, 18 Feb., 1592. During the Spanish domination it was the residence of the Jesuit Fathers, who gave many missions and cared for the towns of the famous Laguna. The modern city of Torreón is the most populous of the state; nevertheless it counts but few religious elements.

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