Old Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
La Casa del Sacramento
La Casa del Sacramento was constructed in 1523 by Diego Caballero. It is located on the Calle Isabel la Cató1ica. It was later the residence of the Garay family. During the Haitian occupation the house became the property of the haitian General, Bernard Phillipe Alejo Carré, Commander of the Plaza of Santo Domingo.
The story behind the name of this house goes back to the 18th century when it was owned and occupied by the Garay family on their return to the Santo Domingo from Spain. The family included don Luis Garay, his wife and children one of whom being a baby at the time. The Garay's also kept a pet monkey in the house.
On an occasion when no one was watching the baby, the monkey took the child from the cradle and climbed to the highest part of the house where he began to make motions that clearly demonstrated to a horrified public that his intention was to hurl the baby to the street below.
The baby’s mother was at the Cathedral at the time. A neighbor ran to the church and told the mother what had happened whereupon they both ran back the house. When Señora Garay saw the monkey menacing her baby, she immediately got down on her knees and made an offer to Jesus as a most holy sacrament a promise to donate the house to the church if only He would save the child. Just then the monkey pulled the child gently to its chest, climbed back down and put the baby back in the cradle.
Today the Casa del Sacramento houses the offices of the Archbishop of the Dominican Republic.