Santisimo Nombre de Maria Mission

By: Robert S. Weddle

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

In late summer 1690 Fray Francisco Casañas de Jesús María founded Mission Santísimo Nombre de María for the Nabedache Indians of the Hasinai confederacy. Santísimo Nombre, second only to San Francisco de los Tejas Mission in eastern Texas, was on the Neches River in an area that is now part of Houston County, some twelve miles from the first mission. Like Mission San Francisco, Santísimo Nombre de María suffered an epidemic and other hardships. The natives' response to the missionaries' teachings was negative. In the fall of 1691 Governor Domingo Terán de los Ríos arrived at Santísimo Nombre, having first visited Mission San Francisco, and left from there for a trip to Matagorda Bay to meet his supply ships. Upon returning, he explored the Neches River in the vicinity of the mission. He departed thence on November 6 to visit the Kadodacho Indians near the site of present Texarkana and returned on December 30, near exhaustion from his nightmarish march in bitter weather. In January 1692 as Terán withdrew toward the ships at Matagorda Bay, Mission Santísimo Nombre de María was destroyed by the flooding Neches River. The missionaries returned to Mission San Francisco.

Herbert Eugene Bolton, The Hasinais: Southern Caddoans as Seen by the Earliest Europeans, ed. Russell M. Magnaghi (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987). Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert S. Weddle, “Santisimo Nombre de Maria Mission,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995

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