Photo by: Urrutia Photo Collection
On a small piece of land near the headwaters of the San Antonio River sits a sizeable stone marker, upon which are inscribed the words: “1716 Aqui se celebró la primera misa” – the first mass was celebrated here. This proclamation sits quietly in Miraflores, a former property of Dr. Aureliano Urrutia, an accomplished physician who came to San Antonio from Mexico in 1914.
What remains of Miraflores is now a 4.5-acre parcel of land near the headwaters of the San Antonio River, on Hildebrand Road across from the University of the Incarnate Word.
A man of modest origins, Urrutia was born in 1872 in Xochimilco, once a unique agricultural area built upon a network of lake and canal systems, which is now a suburb of Mexico City and a World Heritage Site. He was an ambitious child, and his education under the broad initiatives of Mexico’s longtime president Porfirio Díaz propelled him to a significant medical career. The doctor built a renowned clinic in historic Coyoacán (also now a suburb of Mexico City) and developed a following as a revered teacher.