Mission San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano, California.  Our next visit was to Mission San Juan Capistrano, the “Jewel of the Missions,” which was founded on November 1, 1776 by Father Junipero Serra.  The mission grounds and museum are the most developed of the three missions we’ve visited so far.  An audio device was provided for us to listen to descriptions of the people and activities of Mission life.  The Great Stone Church is still in ruins, destroyed by an earthquake in 1812, but still displaying the majesty of the structure.  There was a special emphasis on Pope Francis’ recent canonization of Father Junipero Serra.  It is interesting to note that the establishment of the missions had both political and religious purposes.  Clearly Father Serra’s missionary heart was to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who were native to the land, but his work also created a presence for the nation of Spain and ultimately laid down the foundation of what would one day become the State of California.

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