Founding of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel 1771

In the early autumn light of southern California, two Spanish friars founded the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel on September 8, 1771. This mission was the fourth in the series of Spanish missions that stretched along El Camino Real on the California coast.  The mission is now a Catholic parish that ministers in English, Spanish and Vietnamese languages.  The mission is rich with historical artifacts: the altar was handcrafted in Mexico City and brought to the Mission in the 1790’s; six polychrome wooden statues were carved in Spain and arrived in 1791, and the hammered copper baptismal font was a personal gift from King Carlos III of Spain.