Pedro de Bethancourt was born on March 21st, 1626 on the island of Tenerife, an archipelago of the Canary Islands, Spain. He is considered the first saint of Guatemala and Central America.
He arrived in Guatemala on February 18th, 1651. When he arrived, he wore the habit of Franciscan Tertiary and dedicated most of his life to the care of the sick and homeless of Santiago de Guatemala. He left countless projects in Guatemalan lands, such as being the first alphabetist of Guatemala, the construction of a hospital for the poor, the introduction of the traditional posadas, the nacimientos, the construction of the Calvario de Antigua, and the convent of Nuestra Señora de Belén and the Bethlemite order in its masculine and feminine branches, being the first religious order founded in America.
It is located in the Church of San Francisco, Antigua Guatemala. It has two rooms, the first exhibits religious objects that have belonged to the Franciscan Congregation since colonial times such as paintings, images, priestly clothing, ancient documents, a seventh-century altarpiece and collections of Mayan ceramics.
The other room is the “Pasillo de los Milagros” (Miracles’ Hall), where several objects that faithful devotees have left as a testimony of the blessings received from God through the intercession of Santo Hermano Pedro.
The rests of the now Santo Hermano Pedro were transferred to different chapels at different times. In a hall of the Church of San Francisco, you can see the place that corresponded to the fifth burial of the rests, during April 25, 1817 – October 14, 1990.