Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Junípero Serra/Establishing the California Missions/The Ave Maria Bell
Bright, earnest and deeply religious at an early age, he chose to become a Franciscan, adopting the name of Junipero after an ardent disciple of St. Francis of Assisi who founded the Franciscans. Serra was ordained a priest shortly before Christmas, 1737. He earned his doctorate in sacred theology at Lullian University in Mallorca’s capital of Palma and in 1743 was named to the chair of Theology. Two of his students, Francisco Palou and Juan Crespi, became lifelong associates in Serra’s missionary work.
Between 1769 and 1782 Fray Serra founded the first nine missions in Alta California, San Diego de Alcalá, San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, San Antonio de Padua, San Gabriel Archángel, San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Francisco de Asís, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara de Asís and San Buenaventura. The remaining missions were founded under the guidance of Fray Fermín Francisco de Lasuen and his successors. By the end of 1783 the missions had attained a level of self-sufficiency that Serra had envisioned years earlier.
Fray Junípero Serra overcame political and physical adversity with his dedication and sustaining faith, and left as his legacy the foundation of Californian. This devoted and selfless missionary died at the Carmel Mission on August 28, 1784 at the age of 70. The natives mourned the loss of their beloved Fray Serra. His body rests under the Carmel Mission Basilica’s main alter. Honoring him is a cenotaph in the Mora Chapel adjacent to the Basilica and this Serra Memorial Wall. A statue of the blessed Junípero Serra, on of the giants of California history, stands in Statuary Hall in our nation’s Capitol Builbing.
The bell, Ave Maria, is a fitting adjunct to the setting as its history parallels that of the Mission and symbolizes the Mission’s historical resilience. Ave Maria was cast in Mexico City in 1807 and was installed at the Mission in 1820. When the Mission was secularized after 1834 the bell was removed by local Indians for safekeeping and ultimately secreted at St. Patrick’s Church in Watsonville. Over time the bells whereabouts were lost but it was re-discovered and restored to the Mission in 1925, 105 years after its original installation. Ave Maria subsequently cracked through usage but a grant to the Foundation for the restoration of the bells allowed for an exact duplicate to be cast in Holland in 2010. The bell now hangs in Ave Maria’s original setting on the South side of the bell tower where it is visible from the memorial wall.
Taken together, the wall, the
Erected 2012 by Carmel Mission Foundation. (Marker Number 135.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Historical Landmark marker series.
Location. 36° 32.561′ N, 121° 55.159′ W. Marker is in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, in Monterey County. Marker is on Rio Road near Lausen Drive. This monument is located in the inner courtyard of the Carmel Mission. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3080 Rio Road, Carmel CA 93923, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mission Cross (within shouting distance of this marker); Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista De Anza (within shouting distance of this marker); Early American Baptisms in California (within shouting distance of this marker); Portola Crespi Cross (approx. 0.7 miles away); World War I Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); Korean War Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); World War II Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
More about this marker. This monument to the life of Fray Junipero Serra and the significance of the Carmel Mission consists of two markers on the life of Serra, a tribute marker including material on the Ave Maria Bell, and two plaques, eventually to be five, listing donors to the Carmel Mission Foundation’s Tricentennial Capital Campaign.
Regarding Junípero Serra/Establishing the California Missions/The Ave Maria Bell.
Also see . . .
1. San Carlos de Borromeo de Carmelo - Athanasius Schaefer. Mission San Carlos de Borromeo de Carmelo was founded on June 3, 1770 by Father Junipero Serra, Presidente of the California Missions Chain. It was the 2nd mission in the 21 mission chain in Alta California. It was named for Saint Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan. (Submitted on March 8, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
2. Frey Junípero Serra Ferrer, O. F. M. (Submitted on September 22, 2015, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 827 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on December 12, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on March 8, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 10, 11. submitted on May 16, 2015, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.