Vicente Francisco de Sarría
Father Sarría baptized John Gilroy, the first foreigner to permanently settle in California. Gilroy landed from the Isaac Todd in Monterey in 1814, and was baptized Juan Antonio Maria on September 29 of that year. He also founded Mission San Rafael Arcángel and helped establish the Santa Ysabel Asistencia (on February 2, 1819 he wrote that "...in the place called Santa Isabel, toward the Sierra, they count a goodly number of baptized souls...I asked the governor for permission to formally erect a chapel there." The padre is also credited with the "first original contribution every offered by a resident of California in the field of medicine," an 1830 paper on the use of the caesarian section as a method of childbirth.
When Father Señan retired in August 1823, Father Sarría took over as Father-President of the California mission chain, a position he held until 1825. Disturbances in Mexico and growing hostility of the Californians put an end to the arrival of new friars, and when he found that it was not possible to find another resident priest to man Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, he decided to take the post himself. Alone at the mission, Father Sarría carried on his work among the natives until May 1835 when his worn and emaciated body was found at the foot of the altar. Several days later the last of his loyal Indian followers built a litter and carried his body some 25 miles over the hills to Mission San Antonio de Padua, where he is interred.