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The Legend of Colorado's San Acacio Viejo

Updated on August 17, 2017
ziyena profile image

Indie author via Amazon Publishing of historical romance and paranormal novellas.

Viejo San Acacio

The Capilla de Viejo San Acacio, located in Viejo San Acacio, Colorado. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Capilla de Viejo San Acacio, located in Viejo San Acacio, Colorado. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. | Source

The Intrigue

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to catch a local news television story about the old San Acacio mission located near the current town of San Luis, Colorado. Purportedly, well over a hundred and fifty years ago, a miraculous event, took place between the small farming community and an impending war party of Ute Indians.

To begin with, I do believe in miracles.

I see them every day.

To me the fact that I’m alive and breathing is a miracle. Better yet, even a passing smile from a complete stranger … now that too, I consider a miracle, but then there are those miracles that have no explanation, and those are the kind of miracles that intrigue me. Upon watching this story with closer speculation, I felt an immediate fascination and very compelled to see for myself where this wondrous event in the San Luis Valley took place, a local legend that still stands to this day.

I took a weekend trip, a sabbatical if you will, to the San Luis Valley.

Needless to say, this trip was a breathtaking adventure, and in the end, I walked away, a more spiritual person with historical knowledge of one of Colorado's oldest Spanish settlements.

Southern Ute

on horseback
on horseback | Source

The Legend

During the years of 1856 and 1880 early citizens of San Luis built the church of San Acacio Viejo, in lieu of a promise made after the town was in danger of an attack by a band of Ute warriors seen on a nearby alto where the Sanchez Canal flows this day.

According to legend, at the time of the impending attack, the men in the community were hard at work in the fields while the women, children and the elderly remained in the settlement unprotected when the Ute appeared on the horizon.

Helpless to protect themselves from the marauding band of Ute warriors, the citizens came together and prayed to St. Acacias, a well-known Roman Centurion officer who martyred himself for his faith. The tale continues that as the warriors on horseback rode toward the village they stopped halfway while looking up and pointing their arrows towards the white clouds in the sky they quickly turned on their mounts and departed.

Ute Lands

Map of the Ute
Map of the Ute | Source

The Recollection

Some years later, citizens from the small community of Garcia made an acquaintance with an old Indian woman who remembered the day of the Ute war party’s raid. She told them how the warriors were going to wreak havoc and destroy the settlement, but as the braves galloped down the hill, up in the sky, there was a sudden, billowing cloud-like apparition of a fierce warrior on a steed riding down to defend the local citizens. The alarming image of the holy warrior surprised the Ute party, causing them to rear back, and retreat. As legend would have it, the citizens of that small community felt so much conviction and gratitude for their rescue from the Ute war party the settlers named the village, and mission, San Acacio.

Saint Acacius

Photograph of a statue of Saint Acacius from an old holy card.
Photograph of a statue of Saint Acacius from an old holy card. | Source

One Last Thought

San Acacio Viejo is located in the heart of the San Luis Valley, a location central to numerous reports of UFO sightings.

If UFO activity exists within the valley, then is it plausible to question what the retreating Ute Warriors actually saw in the sky above the settlement of San Acacio?

What if it wasn't Saint Acacius coming to the settlers rescue, but instead, swirling lights of a UFO which spooked the warriors away that day?

You might want to watch the video below and decide for yourself ...

San Acacio Sightings

The San Luis Valley Storytellers: Legends, Spirits, Ghosts and Encounters
The San Luis Valley Storytellers: Legends, Spirits, Ghosts and Encounters

In the San Luis Valley of Colorado, there are legends and stories that have been told for decades and centuries. Tales of spirits, ghostly encounters, sightings of UFO's, paranormal activity. The San Luis Valley storytellers replays many of those stories as they were first told around campfires, kitchen tables and at family gatherings.

 

© 2012 ziyena

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  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    I certainly believe in miracles! Wonderful and fascinating hub here. I love "The Legend . . ." The imagery is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this beauty here.

    Voted up ++++ and sharing and linking too

    Blessings, Faith Reaper

  • profile image

    j duran 5 years ago

    The story i heard was similar, only it was a whole army of roman soldiers that appeared, almost like a mirage. i was told this story several times as a child from elders in the area. a truly magical place.

  • profile image

    Sara 5 years ago

    i am very proud to say that my grandparent were from San Acacio, i grew up listening to all the stories about my grandfather farming with his father and how life was for them back then, as well as being part native american. i am proud to say that my heritage is so deeply rooted in Colorado:)

  • NJ Blake profile image

    NJ Blake 5 years ago from United States

    I've been in Denver many times, it's time for a visit to the San Luis Valley!

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

    Michael,

    It is soooo beautiful there, and isolated. I love that. To know there are places you can still go and visit, and feel like you're the only human on the planet ... well, at least for a little while :)

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

    thomasBaker

    So glad the pics helped enliven the story. There is so much more to see and do ... not to mention the Sangre de Cristo mountains!

    Hope you can visit one day!

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

    Bob

    The Utes were only doing what they have known to do for centuries ... to them, raiding was all about survival, but I am glad that St Acacius could intervene in this situation if that is truly what happened that day for the Mexican settlers.

    And I agree, I side with the natives too.

    It's in my spirit and blood, how could I not?

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

    lone77star

    Great insight you have! You're so right about consulting with God ... he is the only key to life. :)

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

    Glad you liked it. Thanks for sharing Becky

  • cleaner3 profile image

    cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

    ziyena, very nice. my great grandparents are from the valey, Alamosa, is very nice in the summer, as is the whole valley.

  • ThomasBaker profile image

    ThomasBaker 5 years ago from Florida

    I am ready to get on a plane and visit the area. The pictures that you used really bring your piece alive. Thank you for writing a good article. Thumbs Up!

    Tom

  • diogenes profile image

    diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

    Interesting story. Not to sound pendantic, it was simple people all over the Americas who needed divine intervention from the brutal Spanish conquerers. Few ever got any.

    I back the Indians any day.

    Bob

  • lone77star profile image

    Rod Martin Jr 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Beautiful story. Very inspirational.

    I too believe in ordinary miracles -- life, breath, a smile. But what this story describes is something far beyond the ordinary.

    This is the kind of extraordinary miracle which occurs when someone gives up ego and gives it all up to God. At that point, belief transcends to become the perfection of confidence we know of as the faith to walk on water and similar contraventions of physical law.

    And who is the source of physical law? Naturally, if you want to bend or break the laws of physical reality, you have to consult with God.

  • Becky Katz profile image

    Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

    Wonderful story. Shared

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

    Thank you dahoglund ...

  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    Interesting story.Voted u and interesting.Sharing with my followers.