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The Miracle Legend of San Acacio, Colorado

Updated on March 13, 2019
ziyena profile image

An Arts, Literature and History Buff, Humanities Major, Published Indie Writer, Avid Photographer, and World Foodie & Travel Enthusiast

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to catch a local televised news story about the old San Acacio mission located in the San Luis Valley 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. This fantastical legend has been handed down from generation to generation, and over time it has become one of Colorado's most mysterious and unexplained events to have ever been documented.

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

Anytime I feel lost, I pull out a map and stare. I stare until I have reminded myself that life is a giant adventure, so much to do, to see.

— Angelina Jolie

A Weekend Adventure

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 stranger… now that too, I consider a miracle, but then there are those miracles that have no explanation, and those are the kind of wonders 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.

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

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 rich with hispanic culture and rraditions.

A History of the San Luis Valley

The Legend

During the years of 1856 and 1880, early citizens of San Luis built the church of San Acacio Viejo, instead 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.

War Party  Library of Congress  1904
War Party Library of Congress 1904 | Source

An Old Timer's Recollection Turns Into a Legend

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 disturbing 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.

Rainbow Over Prairie  With Wild Horses Running Free
Rainbow Over Prairie With Wild Horses Running Free | Source

A Far Fetched Theory?

San Acacio Viejo is also known for its 'other' legends. Located in the heart of the San Luis Valley, a location central to numerous reports of UFO sightings throughout the years. If UFO activity exists within the valley, then is it plausible to question what the retreating Ute Warriors saw in the sky above the settlement of San Acacio? Some theorists would like to entertain the age-old question: 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? The San Luis Valley Storytellers: Legends, Spirits, Ghosts, and Encounters is a grand conspiracy theory resource piece with lots of informative personal accounts of unexplained phenomena reported and overlooked, year after year.

You might also want to watch the exciting video below. Decide for yourself!

Possible San Acacio UFO Sightings by an Eye Witness

Cited Work & Resources

© 2012 Ziyena Brazos

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