Station 6 from Via Cruces (Stations of the Cross) painted by Native American artists atSan Fernando Rey Mission

<b>2. The main mission man in Alta California was a limping, wheezing old guy</b>.<br>
<br>
Jun&#237;pero Serra, the Spanish-born Franciscan friar who led the expansion of missions into California, was already 56 when he reached San Diego in 1769. Not only did he have a leg infection that troubled him the rest of his life, but he also had asthma (Page 15). Though Serra died in 1784, the Franciscans kept adding missions until 1823, when the 21st, and last, opened in Sonoma. (In the 1830s, after Mexico wrested control of California from Spain, the missions were secularized, private owners took over mission lands, and the old buildings entered a long period of neglect and decline.)
la-tr-mission2

( Bill Dewey / From The California Missions Getty Publications )

2. The main mission man in Alta California was a limping, wheezing old guy.

Junípero Serra, the Spanish-born Franciscan friar who led the expansion of missions into California, was already 56 when he reached San Diego in 1769. Not only did he have a leg infection that troubled him the rest of his life, but he also had asthma (Page 15). Though Serra died in 1784, the Franciscans kept adding missions until 1823, when the 21st, and last, opened in Sonoma. (In the 1830s, after Mexico wrested control of California from Spain, the missions were secularized, private owners took over mission lands, and the old buildings entered a long period of neglect and decline.)

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