The California missions are home to fascinating stories and interesting facts. The following is a list 50 things you might not know about the missions– but there are many more to discover. Pirate Raid In 1818, a French privateer named Hippolyte Bouchard (known in Spanish as Hipólito Bouchard), led a series of raids along the coast of Alta California. Bouchard […]
The story of the Spanish missions in California has its roots in 16th century Mexico. There, Franciscan friars and their native partners sought to record the memories of Aztec elders before their culture was changed forever. The information they collected is contained in the Florentine Codex. Ezekiel Stear Dr. Ezekiel Stear is Assistant Professor of […]
The story of the Spanish missions in California isn’t always what it seems. By delving into Mexico’s National Archives, Dr. Marie Christine Duggan uncovered facts that provide a unique inside view of mission life. From murder trials to Indian militias, we talk about some of the lesser-known aspects of California mission history. Marie Christine Duggan […]
Fr. José Altimira was a Spanish Franciscan priest who founded Mission San Francisco Solano, the last — and most controversial — of the Alta California missions.
How was a mission site chosen? What factors went into the location of a mission? Who decided where to build a mission? When was Mission San Miguel Founded? Mission San Miguel Arcángel was founded on July 25, 1797 by Fr. Fermín de Lasuén and Fr. Buenaventura Sitjar. Important Steps Before establishing a Spanish mission in […]
People often ask who founded the Spanish missions in California. And while Fr. Junípero Serra and Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén are rightly credited as the main mission founders, several other missionaries were involved in establishing missions in California.
https://youtu.be/P6vj46xdq8Y&rel=0 The winter solstice illuminations are a fascinating and little-known aspect of the California missions. This is the story of my trip to witness this phenomenon.
A new exhibit on the life of Junípero Serra made its New York debut in. It tells the story of the missionary from Mallorca in his own words.
Junipero Serra was born Miguel José Serra on November 24, 1713, in the town of Petra on the island of Mallorca, Spain, 302 years ago. You can read more about Junipero Serra’s life here.
The Academy of American Franciscan History has released a new video documentary on Junipero Serra, Introducing Junipero Serra: The Newest Saint. This video does a good job of avoiding the “grand narrative,” i.e., of framing Serra and the missions as part of a struggle between good guys vs. bad guys. Instead, in Introducing Junipero Serra, we something more resembling […]
Tsunamis are a fact of life in seismic California, as mission history reminds us. Dr. Dan Krieger is Professor Emeritus of History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a leading expert on the California missions. He relates the story of a tsunami that occurred off California’s central coast while Father Luis Gil y Taboada was stationed at […]
When Pope Francis announced that he was going to declare sainthood for Junipero Serra during a flight to Manila in January 2015, some people took it as an impromptu decision. And while the announcement might have been made on the spur of the moment, the process that led to it was anything but. When the Catholic Church declares […]