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Patrick Flores, Beloved ‘Mariachi Bishop’ from San Antonio, Dies

Image: Archbishop Patrick Flores incenses the reliquary of St. Therese on Dec. 3, 1999 at the Basilica of the Nation Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas.
Archbishop Patrick Flores incenses the reliquary of St. Therese on Dec. 3, 1999 at the Basilica of the Nation Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas. William Luther / San Antonio Express/Liaison via Getty

Patrick Flores, the retired and beloved Mexican-American archbishop from San Antonio, died on Monday, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Flores, 87, became the nation's first Mexican-American bishop in 1970 at the age of 40. He served as archbishop of San Antonio until his retirement in 2004.

"He's an amazing person in so many ways," his longtime friend Father David García told the Express-News.

Flores worked as a migrant farmworker when he was growing up in Texas and was a long-time advocate for civil rights among farmworkers. He had also worked as a cantina musician, and was well known for his pride and love of Mexican culture, and had a particular fondness for mariachi music. He was affectionately nicknamed the "Mariachi Bishop" by his followers.

Some wrote about that on social media:

In 2008, acclaimed filmmaker Hector Galán made a one-hour documentary on Flores that aired on PBS, "The Life and Legacy of Patrick Flores."

Flores was held hostage in 2000 by a man distressed about being deported back to El Salvador. Flores was commended for his calm and empathetic treatment of the distraught man, whom he offered guidance during the ordeal.

Born on July 26, 1929, Flores was the sixth of nine children.

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