Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tlalmanalco: The Baptismal Font

In our series of posts on the early baptismal fonts, we go next to the venerable Franciscan monastery of San Luis Obispo Tlalmanalco to look at its historic font.
The open chapel baptistry
Originally placed in an arched baptistry to one side of the grand open chapel, formerly accessible through the church, this monolithic stone basin, now located inside the nave, may be the earliest documented baptismal font extant in Mexico.
Reportedly carved in 1533 by order of Fray Martín de Valencia, the leader of the first Franciscan Twelve and at that time Guardian of Tlalmanalco, its large, round basin is emblazoned with heraldic monograms of Jesus and Mary and the Franciscan emblem of the Five Wounds, as well as unusual foliated or feathered pedestals or urns.
   Of special interest is the unequivocal Latin quotation from the gospel of St. Mark (16:15) carved around the rim:

Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit, salvus erit; qui vero non crediderit, condemnabitur.
Whomever believes and is baptized will be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

text and color image © 2018 Richard D. Perry
Please see our earlier posts featuring early Mexican fonts of  interest: Oaxaca; Yucatan; Michoacan-east; Atlixco (Puebla); Acatzingo; Tlaxcala; Cholula; Ciudad Hidalgo; Tepepan; Molango; Tecamachalco; Quecholac; Tecali; Zinacantepec; Cuernavaca; Otumba; 


  1. hi, how you get to know all this information?

    1. The photographs are mine but the information details are available from public published sources. R.