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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Junípero Serra/Establishing the California Missions/The Ave Maria Bell

 
 
Junípero Serra Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
1. Junípero Serra Marker
Inscription.
Junípero Serra
Serra played a decisive role in the European settlement of the New World. He was born Miquel José Serra in Petra on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca on November 24, 1713. Though not an assuming figure and plagued by ill health much of his adult life, he brought Christianity and Spanish culture to California. The first half of his life was spent in Mallorca; the second half was dedicated to developing missions and administering to native peoples in remote regions of New Spain (later Mexico) including Sierra Gorda, Baja California and Alta California (today the State of California).

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.

Junípero Serra long dreamed of going to the New World as a missionary. In 1749 Fray Serra, now 36, began the treacherous journey across the sea to New Spain and for the next 19 years dedicated himself
Establishing the California Missions Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
2. Establishing the California Missions Marker
to missionary work in Mexico. Between 1750 and 1758 he revitalized five missions in the Sierra Gorda region. In 1767 the Franciscan were asked to take over the 13 missions of Baja California. Serra was appointed padre-president and while there founded Mision (sic) San Fernando Rey de España de Velicata. In 1768 Don José de Galvez, the Visitador General of New Spain, was planning a land and sea expedition to settle Alta California, and Serra was selected to be founder and president of the Alta California Missions.

Establishing the California Missions
Joining the expedition led by Don Gaspar de Portolá, Serra arrived in San Diego in 1769 and established the first Alta California mission. In 1770 the parties set out for Monterey Bay where the central settlement of Alta California and the second mission was temporarily located. He moved the mission in 1771 to the Carmel River, six miles to the south, in order to benefit the natives and to take advantage of better water and agricultural conditions. The Carmel Mission (Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo) became the headquarters for the California Mission System and is now designated a National Historic Landmark. From here personnel and supplies were sent throughout Alta California, ultimately supporting 21 missions.

Between 1769 and 1782 Fray Serra founded the first nine missions
A Lasting Tribute Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
3. A Lasting Tribute Marker
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.

A Lasting Tribute
This wall was erected in 2011 as the centerpiece of the Carmel Mission Foundation’s Tricentennial Capital Campaign to restore and preserve the historical buildings of the Carmel Mission. It is intended as a celebration of the 300th anniversary of Junipero
Junípero Serra Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
4. Junípero Serra Marker
The Ave Maria Bell in in the foreground.
Serra’s birth in 1713, as well as a lasting tribute to those 300 donors whose generosity is helping make the Mission’s restoration possible. Of the seven plaques on the wall, the upper two are narrative commemorations of Father Serra’s life as his work. The five lower plagues recognize the campaign’s major donors.
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 life and history of Junipero Serra, the donor plaques and the old bell are intended as lasting reminders of the history and significance of the Carmel Mission and a caring public’s commitment
Junípero Serra Monument image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
5. Junípero Serra Monument
to maintain it into perpetuity.
 
Erected 2012 by Carmel Mission Foundation.
 
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. Touch for map. This monument is located in the inner courtyard of the Carmel Mission. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3080 Rio Road, Carmel CA 93923, United States of America.
 
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
The Carmel Mission courtyard image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
6. The Carmel Mission courtyard
The Carmel Mission Church, undergoing renovation, is in the background.
to the Carmel Mission Foundation’s Tricentennial Capital Campaign.
 
Regarding Junípero Serra/Establishing the California Missions/The Ave Maria Bell. Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, aka Mission Carmel, is California Historical Landmark #135.
 
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 San Jose, California.) 

2. Frey Junípero Serra Ferrer, O. F. M. (Submitted on September 22, 2015, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Settlements & Settlers
 
Entrance to the Carmel Mission Church image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
7. Entrance to the Carmel Mission Church
Interior of the Carmel Mission Church image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
8. Interior of the Carmel Mission Church
The Altar of the Carmel Mission Church image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 25, 2013
9. The Altar of the Carmel Mission Church
Fray Junipero Serra is buried beneath the altar.
Father Junípero Serra Resting In Peace image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, March 8, 2015
10. Father Junípero Serra Resting In Peace
The burial site of Fr. Juniperp Serra
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission image. Click for full size.
11. San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission
Photo taken from inside the church museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 635 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on March 8, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   10, 11. submitted on May 16, 2015, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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