Junípero Serra establishes the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel


The Californian mission is a historic landmark in San Gabriel, Los Angeles, California. It was founded by Spaniards of the Franciscan order on "The Feast of the Birth of Mary," as the fourth of what would become twenty-one Spanish missions in California. San Gabriel Arcángel was referred to as the "Godmother of the Pueblo of Los Angeles." The Mission became the first step in establishing the Pueblo de los Ángeles, the precursor to LA. The mission was designed by Antonio Cruzado, who gave the building its capped buttresses and the tall narrow windows, which are unique among the missions of the California chain. Also interred at the Mission are numerous Franciscan priests. The mission was built and run using slave labor from nearby Native Tongva villages, such as Yaanga. It serves as the burial ground for over 6,000 Native Americans. A small stone marker denotes the gravesite of José de los Santos, the last American Indian to be buried on the grounds, in 1921. Resistance to the mission by the Tongva was recorded and the means of baptism remains a subject of debate among research scholars.

Founded, Sept 8, 1771

1939- A large stone cross stands in the center of the Campo Santo (cemetery), first consecrated first in 1778 and then again in 1939, by Archbishop John Cantwell.

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