Mission San Rafael Arcángel
The reconstructed capilla (chapel) at Mission San Rafael Arcángel on a rainy day in December 2004.
|Location||1104 5th Avenue
San Rafael, California 94901-2916
|Name as founded||La Misión del Gloriosísimo Príncipe San Rafael, Arcángel |
|English translation||The Mission of the Glorious Prince, Archangel Saint Raphael|
|Patron||The Glorious Prince Saint Raphael, Archangel |
|Nickname(s)||"Mission of Bodily Healing" |
|Founding date||December 14, 1817 |
|Founding priest(s)||Father Vicente Francisco de Sarría |
|Native place name(s)||'Anaguani |
|Returned to the Church||1855 |
|Governing body||Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco|
|Current use||Chapel / Museum|
|California Historical Landmark|
Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in 1817 as a medical asistencia ("sub-mission") of the Mission San Francisco de Asís as a hospital to treat sick Native Americans of the Bay Area, making it Alta California's first sanitarium. The weather was much better in the North Bay than in San Francisco, which helped the ill get better. It was never intended to be a stand-alone mission but nevertheless grew and was granted full mission status on October 19, 1822. Likewise, Mission San Francisco Solano was intended to be an adjunct of Mission San Rafael but developed into a mission in its own right.
Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in the present day location of San Rafael, California, on December 14, 1817, by Father Vicente De Sarria, as a medical asistencia ("sub-mission") of the San Francisco Mission to treat their sick population. It was granted full mission status in 1822.
This was one of the first missions turned over to the Mexican government in 1833. In 1840, there were 150 Indians still at the Mission. By 1844, Mission San Rafael Arcángel had been abandoned; what was left of the empty buildings was sold for $8,000 in 1846. The Mission was used by John C. Fremont as his headquarters during the battles to make California a United States possession (see Bear Flag Revolt). In 1847, a priest was once again living at the Mission. A new parish church was built near the old chapel ruins in 1861, and, in 1870, the rest of the ruins were removed to make room for the City of San Rafael. All that was left of the Mission was a single pear tree from the old Mission's orchard, it is for this reason that San Rafael is known as the "most obliterated of California's missions."  In 1949, Monsignor Thomas Kennedy rebuilt and restored the chapel.
Today the Mission San Rafael Arcángel sits next to the St. Raphael Parish of the Archdiocese of San Francisco on the site of the original hospital in San Rafael, California. It is open to visitors and has a small museum and gift shop.
- Leffingwell, p. 157
- Krell, p. 295
- Ruscin, p. 167
- Yenne, p. 174
- Ruscin, p. 196
- Ruscin, p. 195
- Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California.
- Ruscin, p. 169
- Chief Marin
- Mission San Francisco de Asís
- Mission San Francisco Solano
- USNS Mission San Rafael (AO-130) – a Buenaventura Class fleet oiler built during World War II.
- Forbes, Alexander (1839). California: A History of Upper and Lower California. Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill, London.
- Jones, Terry L. and Kathryn A. Klar (eds.) (2007). California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity. Altimira Press, Landham, MD. ISBN 0-7591-0872-2.
- Krell, Dorothy (ed.) (1979). The California Missions: A Pictorial History. Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-376-05172-8.
- Leffingwell, Randy (2005). California Missions and Presidios: The History & Beauty of the Spanish Missions. Voyageur Press, Inc., Stillwater, MN. ISBN 0-89658-492-5.
- Paddison, Joshua (ed.) (1999). A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush. Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA. ISBN 1-890771-13-9.
- Ruscin, Terry (1999). Mission Memoirs. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0-932653-30-8.
- Yenne, Bill (2004). The Missions of California. Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, CA. ISBN 1-59223-319-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mission San Rafael Arcángel.|
- Early photographs, sketches, land surveys of Mission San Rafael Arcángel, via Calisphere, California Digital Library
- A historical drawing of the mission at the Bancroft Library
- Howser, Huell (December 8, 2000). "California Missions (107)". California Missions. Chapman University Huell Howser Archive.