Sanctuary of the Holy Family

Parroquia de la Sagrada Familia

Introduction by Nicole Duran

Description by Dr. Shelley Armitage

The shrine of the Sagrada Familia [Sacred Family] is located at the Parroquia de la Sagrada Familia in Mexico City. The main altar consists of large murals of the member of the Holy Trinity—The Virgin Mary, Jesus the Child and San Joseph—painted by Father Gonzalo Carrasco in 1883. Other altarpieces include sculptures that reference the Holy Family. Pedro Lascuraín and his family, initiated plans for the construction of the church in 1906 under the congregation of the Jesuits, claiming it would be beneficial to have its own temple. The first ceremony was held on January 6, 1910, but it was not until 1925 the construction of the church was completed. Many people gather at the church in honor of the Holy Family.

Ex-Voto Figure 1.

The Holy Family.

Anonymous, Mexico. Nineteenth Century

Oil on tin. 10 x 14” NMSU Art Gallery Collection # 1966.1.3.

Donor: Dr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Babey.


A rural scene with brick building and a pond, trees and mountains features a family of three women and man lifting another sick man into the healing waters. Before them on the right upper hand of the composition is the Holy Family ensconced in clouds, the heavenly host lighting them from above. The family offering this ex-voto is compared visually to the love and care of the Holy Family. The text, though illegible, is at the bottom of the composition.