Parish of San Juan Bautista

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The Old Mission San Juan Bautista...




...began with a group of leather-jacketed soldiers and a few Native Americans watching a tonsured Franciscan priest raise his eyes and hands toward the sky...




"In the name of our blessed Father, and the saint whose feast we commemorate today, St. John the Baptist..."




The day was June 24, 1797, a Saturday, and the priest was Fr. Fermin de Lasuen, Presidente of the California Missions successor to Blessed Junipero Serra. This mission was one of four established by Fr. Lasuen in the summer of 1797 and the fifteenth of the twenty-one missions in Alta, California.




Construction began almost immediately under the care of Fathers Jose Manuel de Martiarena and Pedro Martinez. By Christmas, because of the friendly and
cooperative indigenous people, not only was there an adobe church built but also a grainary, barracks, a monastery, and some adobe houses...
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