San Salvador de Horta
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San Salvador de Horta

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  • Mexican Antique Retablo of San Salvador de Horta
  • In Mexico, San Salvador de Horta is venerated as a Miraculous Healer of the Grievously Ill and is honored as a Saint by the Catholic Church.
  • In this extremely rare 19th century antique Mexican folk retablo, San Salvador de Horta is depicted with two grievously injured petitioners; one petitioner grasps San Salvador's cincture in supplication. Franciscan Monks use a rope belt called a cincture, with three knots tied in one end that are symbols of their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. 
  • He was born Salvador Pladevall i Bien in 1520 in the Catalan Province of Girona, where his parents worked as servants. Orphaned at age 14, he moved with his sister Blàsia to Barcelona, where he worked as a shoemaker to support them both. 
  • When his sister had married, Pladevall felt free to follow a religious calling. He entered monastic life in 1542, and became known among the friars for his asceticism and humility.
  • Salvador was then sent by his superiors to serve as the cook, designated beggar and porter at the friary at Tortosa. There Salvador soon acquired a reputation as a healer, and the friary became a destination for sick pilgrims. It was estimated by observers that the number of visitors to the friary numbered some 2,000 people per week.
  • As a result, Salvador's superiors developed a suspicion of him, and they began moving him to different friaries: most famously the remote village of Horta de Sant Joan, the town with which he is most identified, residing there 1547-1559. Salvador was eventually moved to Madrid, where he was visited by King Philip II of Spain, followed by yet another move to the friary in Barcelona. While residing there, in 1560 he was denounced to the Spanish Inquisition for the many miracles attributed to his intercession. After some investigations, they chose to take no action against him.
  • In 1565 Salvador was assigned to the island of Sardinia, where he continued to serve as the cook for the community. He also continued to have cures take place at his intercession. It was there that he died on 18 March 1567.
  • San Salvador de Horta's feast day is celebrated on March 18 
  • Retablo dimensions are approx. 14 inches vertical x 10 inches horizontal. 
  • Condition: in overall good, original condition with some paint loss and surface rusting acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer.


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