Mission San Juan Capistrano|
Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded in 1776, by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. Named for Giovanni de Capistrano, a 15th-century theologian and "warrior priest" who resided in the Abruzzo region of Italy, San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782. Known alternately as "Serra's Chapel" and "Father Serra's Church," it is the only extant structure where it has been documented that Junipero Serra celebrated Mass. One of the best known missions in Alta California, and one of the few missions to have actually been founded twice--others being Mission San Gabriel Arcángel and Mission La Purísima Concepción. The site was originally consecrated on October 30, 1775, by Fermín Lasuén, but was quickly abandoned due to unrest among the indigenous population in San Diego.