San Luis Rey, Guajome And Pala

From San Fulano, it was but a short drive into the pretty valley of the San Luis Rey river, where on a little sunny knoll in the midst of a fertile farming country, stands another Mission associated with “Ramona,” the Mission San Luis Rey. This, in its heyday, was perhaps the largest and richest—temporally speaking—of […]

Rancho San Fulano

“I don’t see why in the name of common sense,” I can remember saying testily, “no Californian can give you directions that can be followed. That fellow at Capistrano said it was a straight road and we couldn’t possibly get off it, and now look at this!” All the sunny afternoon we had driven cheerfully, […]

Franciscan Missions

IT is the fashion nowadays to call it by its old Spanish name, El Camino Real—the King’s Highway—and to travel it, if one travels it at all, by motor-car, making the run from San Diego to Los Angeles between a late breakfast and an early tea; then to Santa Barbara in another day, and on […]

California Missions – San Gabriel, Arcangel

WE have already seen that San Gabriel, the fourth Mission, was founded September 8, 1771. The natives gave cheerful assistance in bringing timber, erecting the wooden buildings, covering them with tules, and constructing the stockade enclosure which surrounded them. They also brought offerings of acorns and pinenuts. In a few days so many of them […]

California Missions – Distinctive Features Of Mission Architecture

THE broader knowledge we gain of the Franciscan Mission structures, the greater becomes our respect for their architects and builders. Their boldness, originality, and diversity at once please and instruct us. It is not my purpose, in this chapter, to analyze all the varied forms of the Mission architecture, or to discuss technically the successes […]

California Missions – Silver And Brass Ware Of The Missions

IT is impossible in a brief chapter to present pictures and descriptions of all the silver and brass ware found at the Missions, but it will be interesting and instructive to see a few examples. Much of this ware was brought by the padres from Mexico. Of much of it we have Padre Palou’s lists, […]

California Missions – Interior Decorations Of The Missions

WE cannot today determine how the Franciscans of the southwest decorated the interiors of all their churches. Some of these buildings have disappeared entirely ; while others have been restored or renovated beyond all semblance of their original condition. But enough are left to give us a satisfactory idea of the labors of the fathers […]

California Missions – A Chapter Of Saints

IT is instinctive in the ordinary human being to look up to some one above himself. Carlyle was not the first hero-worshipper, nor is he the last. In this matter the Catholic Church has proven herself wise in recognizing this universal propensity to select from among her members men and women conspicuous for their blame-less […]

California Missions – Furniture And Woodwork Of The Missions

WITHIN the past few years, the term ” Mission Furniture ” has become current. But it has been accepted too freely, and without having been subjected to proper investigation. If by the use of that name the idea is conveyed that it is modelled after the furniture made and used in the old California Missions […]

California Missions – Indians Under The Padres

THE first consideration of the padres in dealing with the Indians was the salvation of their souls. Of this no honest and honorable man can hold any question. Serra and his coadjutors believed, without equivocation or reserve, the doctrines of the Church. As one reads Serra’s diary, his thought on this matter is trans-parent. In […]