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California Missions and their Saints

The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of religious and military outposts established by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 to spread the Christian faith among the local Native Americans. The missions represented the first major effort by Europeans to colonize the Pacific Coast region, and gave Spain a valuable toehold in the frontier land. The settlers introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, cattle, horses and ranching into the California region; however, the Spanish occupation of California also brought with it serious negative consequences to the Native American populations with whom the missionaries came in contact. The government of Mexico shut down the missions in the 1830s. In the end, the mission had mixed results in its objective to convert, educate, and "civilize" the indigenous population and transforming the natives into Spanish colonial citizens. Today, the missions are among the state's oldest structures and the most-visited historic monuments. There are 21 missions.

Spanish Name English Name
La Purísima de Concepcíon The Immaculate Conception
Nuestra Señora de Soledad Our Lady of Solitude
San Antonio de Padua St. Anthony of Padua
San Buenaventura San Buenaventura St. Bonaventure
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo St. Charles Borromeo (of Carmel)
San Diego de Alcalá St. Didacus of Alcala
San Fernando Rey de España St. Ferdinand, King of Spain
San Francisco de Asís St. Francis of Assisi
San Francisco Solano St. Francis Solano
San Gabriel Arcángel The Archangel Gabriel
San José de Guadalupe St. Joseph
San Juan Bautista St. John the Baptist
San Juan Capistrano St. John of Capistrano
San Luis Obispo de Tolosa St. Louis, Bishop of Toulose
San Luis Rey de Francia St. Louis, King of France
San Miguel Arcángel The Archangel Michael
San Rafael Arcángel The Archangel Raphael
Santa Barbara St. Barbara
Santa Clara de Asís St. Claire of Assisi
Santa Cruz Holy Cross
Santa Inés St. Agnes
Saint of the Day  

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Saint of the Day: St. Mark

St. Mark

The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there. St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark's cousin) on their missionary ... continue reading



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St. Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth

Not much information is known about Elizabeth, but she has the distinction of being one of the first to know about Mary's great blessing as the Mother of God. Zachary was a priest in Jerusalem whose wife, Elizabeth, Mary's cousin, was beyond child-bearing age. He was told by an angel in a vision that they would have a son and should name him John. When he ... continue reading


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St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptizer. Finally, he ... continue reading



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What's New in Saints

Catholic Online has updated its Saints page with thousands of new entries and updates! An ideal place to find everything you want to know about the saints. Whether you have a special devotion, an academic interest, or even just casual curiosity, this page is all you need.


Saint Joseph's love for Jesus is worth of commemoration.
Is St. Joseph worthy of commemoration?

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, which means this is the perfect time to check out our offerings of St. Joseph medals, prayer cards ... continue reading

Duc in Altum: Men, Put Out Into the Deep on the Feast of St Joseph

This model of Christian manliness recommends himself to us not for any strange or exciting things he did (because he really didn't) but ... continue reading




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Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 5:5-14
In the same way, younger people, be subject to the elders. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
for you have said: love is built to last for ever, you have ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

April 25 Saint of the Day

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... Read More