Las Puras Convent (XIII): San Juan Nepomuceno

One of the three “pes” (by the surname Perceval; in addition to Puche and Pérez), holders of considerable civil and economic power in previous centuries, maintained a relationship with our convent for one reason or another. The most recent dates from the second decade of the last century. The genealogist José Luis Ruz, the son-in-law of Jesús de Perceval, told me that Juan del Moral and Pérez de Perceval, brother of the mother of the polyhedral contemporary artist and alma mater of the Indaliano Movement, in addition to other initiatives, is the author of the two murals that embellish the Reglar door, painted when he was a promising young man: Pope Julius II, signer of the bull of erection of the Conceptionist Order, and Saint Francis of Assisi, whose observance are due. These frescoes flank a niche containing an Immaculate in stone modeled by teachers and gifted students of the School of Arts and Crafts in 1955.


Among the besiegers of Baza who received rustic and real estate in the distribution of RR.CC. figure Esteban Pérez, the first individual of this surname in the province; He is also one of the hundred “conquering knights of Fiñana”. The prolific saga married with others of his rank (Marín, Mira, Careaga, Lara, Benavides, Santacruz, Puche, Perceval), conforming with such endogamous unions successive Registers of Nobles and Sons of the City.

The murals that preside over the Reglar door are the work of Juan del Moral and Pérez de Perceval

Pedro Pérez de Haro, the great-grandson of that Esteban, infanzón of the kingdom of Aragon, married Juana de Perceval on the Immaculate Day of 1594, in the capital parish of San Juan, thus connecting both lineages. Therefore, a powerful surname, among which we find councilmen, ecclesiastics, soldiers, lawyers, nuns of La Concepción or inquisitors of the Holy Office. “Cause of terror for the upstarts and Moorish residents in our capital.” Ruz Márquez also gives an account (Los Escudos de Almería, 1986) of the “arms” of the Pérez de Perceval family as they appeared in a ruined manor house on Calle Real, carved in stone like the one that existed since the 18th century in the Careaga square:

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Stamped by a helmet from which comes out an armed arm of a sword, and with a single silver quarter: a pear tree fruited with gold; azure border with three golden stripes. On the helmet there is a ribbon: Pérez de Perceval, warrior for Sea and Land. Strong

Capilla Perceval

There is evidence of burials in chapels of worship and funeral homes of the convents of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, but now we are interested in attending the order to be built in the monastery of La Purísima by Francisco Pérez de Perceval y Marín, son of Juan Francisco and Teresa Marín de la Trinidad, baptized in the parish of El Sagrario in January 1730. Registered in the Register of Nobles at the end of the 18th century, he was a member of the Royal Patriotic Society of Vera, perpetual ruler of Almería and mayor of the Holy Court of the Inquisition of Granada in our City and Port. He married Claudia Belver, widow of Luis Francisco de la Cruz, Marquis of Dos Fuentes, from whom he had no descendants. After his death, he received the life mayorazgo founded by her in will and they lived in La Catedral square.

Later he remarried, now with Antonia Marín Benavides, from whom he had six children who reached adulthood. The eldest, María de los Remedios, died professed in the convent of Las Puras and the penultimate, Miguel, “Senior collegiate who was from the Real de Santa Cruz de Granada and doctor in both Rights and currently (1791) a professed religious of the order of Señor San Diego, which they call Alcantarinos.” He went down in local history for being the friar who collected in the place of El Reducto the bodies murdered in August 1824 of twenty-two “Coloraos”, victims of the absolutism of Fernando VII, and buried in the cemetery of the nearby church of San Juan.

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In September 1783 (AHPAL, protocol 1267) he addressed Sister María de la Concepción Ruiz (abbess) and Madres Discretas proposing to build a chapel or dressing room in the convent church at their expense. “To the right of its entrance, higher than that of San Roque (today San Juan Scotus), taking land from the existing alley behind and leaving the precise passage that today has for communication from the Sacristy to the aforementioned Chapel of San Roque and that in said dressing room he will place (graciously yielding for our church) an effigy of Saint John of Nepomuceno that he has paid for, without claiming another reward said by D. Francisco than to be buried in a small vault that will remain carved underneath said Camarín and that we entrust him to God ”. The petition was sent to the provincial minister of the San Francisco convent and approved by public deed after a precise, democratic and legal precondition was observed.: “That the Community get together to ring the bell three times on three different days to confer the convenience of said foundation … And that it does not harm our Convent or the decorum of a community of Religious.”

In the 14th century, the Czech saint was thrown into the waters of the Vltava River by the King of Bohemia

I do not know the ultimate reason why Perceval chose the invocation of the 14th century Czech saint, thrown into the Vltava River as it passed through Prague by the King of Bohemia, Wenceslao, when he refused to reproduce what was manifested in confession by his wife; hence the Church considers him a “martyr of the confession secret.” In Spain he is the patron of the Marine Corps. The monjil tradition tells that a slander was raised against this character and that in the midst of the sorrow he was going through, on May 16, the day of Saint John Nepomuceno, he read his biography and “He was so consoled and convinced that the thing was going to be solved” that he promised to build him a chapel and buy his sculpture “so that they would have devotion to him.” When breaking it in the war, the space was dedicated to the holy founder Beatriz de Silva. Five years ago the Junta de Andalucía undertook the sewerage works of the convent, dried flowers were found in the vault, but not the remains of the corpse. Up to here faithful neighbors came to pray to the saint, “very beautiful, on his knees, with the Custody in one hand and his finger in his mouth.” For this reason the “martyr of the sacramental secrecy”.

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In July 1791, Francisco Pérez de Perceval Marín (“finding me free of disease and in my right mind”) testified before the notary Miguel de Haro, dedicating clause 17 (AHPAL) to the subject, with a very curious baroque wording that for extensive we regret not being able to reproduce. From her we know that the altar with the image on the throne was protected by an artistic iron fence, and that the dressing room was adorned with gilded carvings, cornucopies, crucified in an altarpiece, silver candlesticks, bronze cross, wooden lectern … On the chapel they granted him perpetual patronage for him and the successors that he indicated by writing.


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