Casa Episcopal

#12 Simon Bolivar 7-64 y Luis Cordero.

This property originally belonged to Francisco Nates and Tomasa Crespo, and was probably built at the end of the 17th century. The building eventually passed into the hands of the Muñoz family in the following century. It is the birthplace of the beloved “Hermano Miguel”. 

Francisco Febres Cordero was born with an extreme deformity in his foot which rendered him incapable of standing or walking. At the age of five he was playing in this courtyard when he saw a vision of a beautiful woman amidst some rose bushes. “Look how beautiful she is – wearing a white dress and blue cloak!” It was believed he received a vision of the Virgin Mary. From then on he could walk.

Francisco Febres Cordero y Muñoz was born in this house in 1854. Against his family’s wishes he became a member of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and took the name “Miguel”. He devoted his life to teaching and educating children of all social classes, and was a prolific writer.

Second interior courtyard. In 2000 the architecture of the building was restored under the supervision of the architect Max Cabrera Rojas. In 2003 the building received the Fray José María Vargas award, granted by the City Council to the year’s best architectural restoration in the historic center. The restoration of the building included matching to the original color, and priority was given to the use of traditional construction systems and respect for the original materials such as adobe walls, tiled roofs, and wooden door and window frames.

Hermano Miguel was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1984. When the Pope visited Ecuador, and Cuenca in 1985, he prayed in the chapel here on the second floor. There is a statue of Saint Hermano Miguel in the second courtyard.