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St. Augustine Church

Under the original name of St. Anthony, this church was established in 1613.  It is one of the oldest mission churches in the United States.   In 1692, De Vargas found its ruins except for the nave of the church, twelve years after the Pueblo Indian Revolt.  The walls are original, upon which the church was rebuilt in 1716 and renamed St. Augustine.

The church in Isleta is very well located in the center of the town and fronting upon a large public plaza. It is one of the largest and most important in New Mexico, and is flanked with extensive buildings used as a residence for the priest, and other ecclesiastical purposes. The church itself is of adobe, one hundred and ten feet by twenty-seven feet in the inside, with walls four feet in thickness, and lighted by four high windows.

St. Augustine is the patron saint of Isleta, and so the church is dedicated to him, and his figure is of course the predominant one. There is the old statue, about two feet high, carved in wood, with black beard and tonsured head; the robes decorated with the figured gold which is a distinguishing mark of the ancient wood carvings which came in with the reconquerors; and there is the new statue of twice the size, beautifully colored, and characteristic of the style which the modern French priests have introduced.

One of the oldest Spanish missions in New Mexico, St. Augustine is noted for the numerous changes to its exterior form.  Built of adobe and terrones, St. Augustine retains one of the most extensive inventories of 17th and early 18th century building features in New Mexico, including a clerestory window.

St. Augustine is open daily for you to explore and get a feel for the old days. The people of Isleta are still active in their community, holding regular worship services and parish events.