This Church, which was originally dedicated to St. Joseph, is one of the oldest in the city. It was built in 1715. At a later date, the Franciscans built the temple to its patron saint. Its atrium is today the Plaza Ignacio Zaragoza, which once served as a cementery.
Besides its historycal importance, this temple houses the cenotaph of the Father of the Nation, – Miguel Hidalgo -, in the chancel of San Santonio. Father Hidalgo’s body was decapitated after his execution and transfer to his final resting place in the place in the Angel of Independence in Mexico City.
In general, its architecture is typical of the missionary buildings of the Franciscan Order in nothern Mexico: a wide nave with nave with cross-covered with beams and a majestic dome as private label. The tower, wich harmonizes with the heigth of the building, was finished in 1740.
The only original Altar of this temple is covered by another superimposed in 1906. the other two come from the former Jesuit church of Loreto; they are magnificent carvings of the eighteenth century, but, due to limited soeace, they had to be mutilated to fit.