History

The town of San Cristóbal de La Habana, founded in 1515, was definitively established on the north coast, sheltered from the city’s port, in 1519, when it celebrated the first mass and town hall on November 16 of that year.

San Cristobal de La Habana

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Cristobal de La Habana

The first University in the country was established in this city, dedicated to Saint Jerome and run by the Dominican fathers, in 1728. Havana is also the place where the Servants of God Father Félix Varela y Morales, architect of our nationality, and Father José Olallo Valdés, whose beatification processes began in 1996 and 1990, respectively, were born. José Martí y Pérez, Apostle of Cuban Independence, was also born here. Here is the “San Carlos y San Ambrosio” Seminary, which achieved conciliar status in 1776, by Royal Order of Carlos III. The founders of our nationality were trained in this place, before their classrooms were restricted to the ecclesiastical career.

In 1762, England takes Havana. In 1763, through the Treaty of Paris, Spain recovered Cuba in exchange for Florida (today a territory of the United States). Although the diocese of Cuba lost La Florida, the religious growth on the Island indicated the need to create a second diocese. In 1787, Pope Pius VI created the Bishopric of Havana. The bishop of Puerto Rico, Don Felipe José de Tres Palacios, is appointed to the new See and becomes the first bishop of Havana. In this way, the western diocese included the territories from Pinar del Río to Ciego de Avila. Camagüey joined the Diocese of Santiago. This situation continued until the beginning of the 20th century when, after independence and due to population growth, new dioceses emerged in the country. Its former Main Parish Church, started by the Jesuit fathers before their expulsion, became a Cathedral, consecrated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In January 1925, San Cristóbal de La Habana was elevated to Archdiocese. Its second archbishop, Manuel Arteaga, was named cardinal by Pius XII in 1945, first from Cuba and the entire Caribbean and Central American region.