The Famous Missions of California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about The Famous Missions of California.
following the coast, reached the more southern of the great wooden crosses on the 24th of May, and after some difficulty succeeded at last in identifying the harbour.  Seven days later, steering by the fires lighted for her guidance along the shore, the San Antonio came safely into port; and formal possession of the bay and surrounding country was presently taken in the name of church and King.  This was on the 3rd of June, the Feast of Pentecost; and on that day of peculiar significance in the apostolic history of the church, the second of the Upper California missions came into being.  Palou has left us a full account of the ceremonies.  Governor, soldiers and priests gathered together on the beach, on the spot where, in 1603, the Carmelite fathers who had accompanied Viscaino, had celebrated the mass.  An altar was improvised and bells rung; and then, in alb and stole, the father-president invoked the aid of the Holy Ghost, solemnly chanted the Venite Creator Spiritus; blessed and raised a great cross; “to put to flight all the infernal enemies;” and sprinkled with holy water the beach and adjoining fields.  Mass was then sung; Father Junipero preached a sermon; again the roar of cannon and muskets took the place of instrumental music; and the function was concluded with the Te Deum.  Though now commonly called Carmelo, or Carmel, from the river across which it looks, and which has thus lent it a memory of the first Christian explorers on the spot, this mission is properly known by the name of San Carlos Borromeo, Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan.  A few huts enclosed by a palisade, and forming the germ at once of the religious and of the military settlement, were hastily erected.  But the actual building of the mission was not begun until the summer of 1771

[3] The Diary, furnishing a detailed itinerary of the expedition, is given in full in Palou’s noticias de la Nueva California.


News of the establishment of the missions and military posts at San Diego and Monterey was in due course carried to the City of Mexico, where it so delighted the Marques de Croix, Viceroy of New Spain, and Jose de Galvez, that they not only set the church bells ringing, but forthwith began to make arrangements for the founding of more missions in the upper province.  Additional priests were provided by the College of San Fernando; funds liberally subscribed; and the San Antonio made ready to sail from San Blas with the friars and supplies.  On the 21st of May, 1771, the good ship dropped anchor at Monterey, where, in the meantime, Junipero, though busy enough among the natives of the neighborhood, was suffering grievous disappointment because, from lack of priests and soldiers, he was unable to proceed at once with the proposed establishment of San Buenaventura.  The safe arrival of ten assistants now brought him assurance of a rapid extension of work in “the vineyard of the Lord.”  He was not the man to let time slip by him unimproved. 

Project Gutenberg
The Famous Missions of California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook