The Missions: Number 8

Santa Clara de Asis, number eight of the Franciscan missions in California, was founded by Father Tomas de la Peña on January 12, 1777.  He named it for a woman: St. Clare of Assisi, the first Abbess of San Damiano and co-founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, also known as the Poor Clares order of nuns. A few days Continue reading The Missions: Number 8

The Missions: Number 7

World-famous Mission San Juan Capistrano might have been number six in the chain, but a tragedy postponed the plans. A week after Father Fermin and Lt. Ortega dedicated the site in October 1775, further development was abandoned when the priest and his military escort received news of the massacre of Continue reading The Missions: Number 7

The Missions: Number 6

Four years elapsed between the founding of San Luis Obispo and mission number six, formally named San Francisco de Asís but popularly known as Mission Dolores. Dedicated October  9, 1776, the mission derived its name from the Presidio of San Francisco, built only a month earlier. Both are named in honor of Continue reading The Missions: Number 6

The Missions: Number 5

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded September 1, 1772, chiefly because supplies were dwindling in the four already established missions—and this region contained an abundance of bears that could provide fresh meat for priests and soldiers who were otherwise facing starvation.  After 25 mule loads of dried bear Continue reading The Missions: Number 5

The Missions: Number 4

The fourth of the chain of Franciscan missions in Alta California was founded on the Feast of the Birth of Mary, September 8, 1771, and named San Gabriel Arcángel in honor of the Archangel Gabriel, Holy Prince of Angels. Five years later, when a flash flood destroyed much of the crops and ruined the complex, the mission Continue reading The Missions: Number 4