Mission San Rafael Arcángel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mission San Rafael Arcángel
Mission San Rafael Arcángel
The reconstructed capilla (chapel) of Mission San Rafael Arcángel is to the right of Saint Raphael's Church.
Mission San Rafael Arcángel is located in California
Mission San Rafael Arcángel
Location in California
Location1104 5th Avenue
San Rafael, California 94901-2916
Coordinates37°58′27.6″N 122°31′40.5″W / 37.974333°N 122.527917°W / 37.974333; -122.527917Coordinates: 37°58′27.6″N 122°31′40.5″W / 37.974333°N 122.527917°W / 37.974333; -122.527917
Name as foundedLa Misión del Gloriosísimo Príncipe San Rafael, Arcángel [1]
English translationThe Mission of the Glorious Prince, Archangel Saint Raphael
PatronThe Glorious Prince Saint Raphael, Archangel[2]
Nickname(s)"Mission of Bodily Healing" [3]
Founding dateDecember 14, 1817 [4]
Founding priest(s)Father Vicente Francisco de Sarría [5]
Founding OrderTwentieth [2]
Military districtFourth
Native tribe(s)
Spanish name(s)
Coast Miwok, Pomo
Native place name(s)'Anaguani [6]
Baptisms1,821 [7]
Marriages519 [7]
Burials652 [7]
Secularized1834 [2]
Returned to the Church1855 [2]
Governing bodyRoman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco
Current useChapel / Museum
Reference no.220

Mission San Rafael Arcángel is a Spanish mission in San Rafael, California. It was founded in 1817 as a medical asistencia ("sub-mission") of Mission San Francisco de Asís. It was a hospital to treat sick Native Americans, making it Alta California's first sanitarium.[8] The weather was much better than in San Francisco, which helped the ill get better.[9] It was not intended to be a stand-alone mission, but nevertheless grew and prospered and was granted full mission status on October 19, 1822.


Interior of the capilla (chapel) at Mission San Rafael Arcángel taken in 1974.

Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded on December 14, 1817, by Father Vicente Francisco de Sarría, 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 missions turned over to the Mexican government in 1833 after the Mexican secularization act of 1833. In 1840, there were 150 Native Americans 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 Bear Flag Revolt.

On June 28, 1846, three men departed the mission, including Kit Carson, and murdered three unarmed Californians under the order of John C. Fremont: Don José R. Berreyesa, father of José de los Santos Berreyesa, along with the twin sons of Don Francisco de Haro, Ramon and Francisco De Haro.[10]

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".[3]

In 1949, a replica of the chapel was built next to the current Saint Raphael's Church on the site of the original hospital in San Rafael, California which was built in 1919.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leffingwell, p. 157
  2. ^ a b c d Krell, p. 295
  3. ^ a b Ruscin, p. 167
  4. ^ Yenne, p. 174
  5. ^ Ruscin, p. 196
  6. ^ Ruscin, p. 195
  7. ^ a b c Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California.
  8. ^ Ruscin, p. 169
  9. ^ Tays, George (1937). "Mariano G Vallejo and Sonoma". California Historical Society Quarterly. 2. XVI: 109.
  10. ^ The Beginnings of San Francisco App. D – The Murder of Berreyesa and the De Haros


External links[edit]