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San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano

With a Translation by Monsignor Vincent Lloyd-Russell

 
 
The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, October 16, 2010
1. The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano Marker
Inscription.  
Va. Jhs Ma. Jph
The Mission of San Juan Capistrano which is about to be established in the valley of the same name or in its vicinity between the Missions of San Diego & San Gabriel of the Earthquakes, about twenty leagues from both & too from the coastline of the South Sea, according to the agreement made between the Captain, Comandante Don Fernando de Rivera y Moncada and the Father President of the Missions, Father Junipero Serra, on the thirteenth day of August 1775 by order and instructions of His Excellency the Viceroy of this New Spain, sent on the 24th of May and received on the first of August of the same year.
Instructions (Arrangements)
I assigned and named as Ministers and Missionaries for this new Mission: Father Preacher Fray Fermín Francisco Lasuen & Father Preacher Fray Gregorio Amurrio. For the escort the Comandante accepted only two of the four soldiers offered by the Missions, and he added four more from the Presidios. These were:
Six Soldiers (leather jackets)
and a muleteer named Feliciano.
Of the Indians assigned to assist our Religious with their
The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, October 16, 2010
2. The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano Marker
labors in the founding of this Mission, who came with the authority of His Excellency the Viceroy and of their own free will, and who left Baja California with departure of our Missionaries:
Two Families of Man and Wife
and Four Indian boys unmarried.
Regarding provisions, the Comandante, in accordance with my petition, granted:
Four tercios of fine flour
Two others of unsifted flour
Three tercios of beans
One tercio of Rice and an order on the
granary of San Diego for twenty five
fanegas of corn.
And to please the natives (gentiles) and reciprocate their gifts, I gave to Father Lasuen:
Four strings of beads of different colors.
Concerning the cattle and cows that have just arrived at San Diego from Baja California, I assigned to this Mission:
Nine milch (chichiguas) cows and a breed bull and
a yoke of oxen from San Buenaventura
and moreover I shall take care of their replacement
when the desired foundation is realized.
Regarding mules and horses, the Fathers of this Mission have been assigned and have received:
Eight pack mules
six broken and two unbroken
and three saddle mules.
Three horses broken and two mares
one of these with its colt.
Regarding pigs, the Mission of San Diego will give a male and female;
The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, October 16, 2010
3. The Founding Documents of Mission San Juan Capistrano Marker
regarding chickens, it or San Gabriel will give what they can. The same will give two saddles with their trappings & bridles for Fathers and two others also furnished for the vaqueros. Regarding tools, I gave Father Lasuen:
Twelve new, large hoes
Two axes for clearing or preparing charcoal
Six large machetes for cleaning up (brush etc.)
Six new knives, and the branding iron with this mark CR For plowshares I have written to the Fathers of San Gabriel that while awaiting their supplies from Mexico they should satisfy their needs from the stores of San Buenaventura, which are kept at that Mission, for pickaxes, plowshares, and other iron tools.

They have for the Church & Sacristy, a crucifix for the altar; one canvas portrait of more than a vara in length of the Virgin Mary, Domina Pastora, which has a condemned man on her shoulders, which Father Campa used; another canvas portrait, a little more than a third of a vara, of Our Lady of Soledad. Among others, a portrait of the Holy Patron (San Juan Capistrano). About four varas of muslin to make baldachino and backdrop for the Altar. A new Missal with the Saints of our Order. A number of double corporals of fine linen with burse and pall. An Amice of Breton lace, and two purificators of fine linen. A rochet of Bramant linen, with floral design and lace. Castile Wax for Masses for a year. The
Great Stone Church ruins image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, October 16, 2010
4. Great Stone Church ruins
wine will be furnished from the two nearby missions as their supply allows.

To this Mission have been allotted all of the ornaments of those that have come from Baja California for the Church as well as the houses; also within those ornaments will be found those for the use of the other two Ministers, and the two Fathers, (Juan) Prestamero and Imas.

For the celebration of Mass, the Mission of San Diego will give a chalice, which up to the present day has had no other use but to serve travelers; and from the Mission of San Buenaventura, the Fathers of San Gabriel will give a vestment of various colors. In the meantime also from there, the oils, surplice, Ritual, Baptismal shell and all the other requisites and a Bell. The Mission of San Antonio has given tow blank books bound in red leather for entries.

With these beginnings & arrangements, Father Fermín left this Mission of San Carlos de Monterey on the 21 of August 1775 in order to join with his Religious companion in the Mission of San Luis Obispo, May God bless them. Amen.

~Father Junipero Serra~
 
Erected 1976 by Riders of El Viaje de Portola. (Marker Number 1.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location.
Model of Great Stone Church image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, October 16, 2010
5. Model of Great Stone Church
33° 30.137′ N, 117° 39.757′ W. Marker is in San Juan Capistrano, California, in Orange County. Marker is on Ortega Highway, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano CA 92675, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mission San Juan Capistrano (a few steps from this marker); San Juan Capistrano Mission (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Mission San Juan Capistrano (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the Valenzuela Adobe (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Capistrano Depot (about 500 feet away); Combs House (about 600 feet away); Welcome to the Los Rios Historic District (about 600 feet away); Blas Aguilar Adobe (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Juan Capistrano.
 
Serra Chapel image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, October 16, 2010
6. Serra Chapel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 8, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 2,008 times since then and 76 times this year. Last updated on April 18, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 8, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 30, 2020