25 July 2014

Mission San Diego de Acala

This mission claims to be the first mission site of California, and it is, of Alta California. Since I live in Baja California, I recognize Loreto, Baja California Sur, as the first mission of California. That is my own personal opinion.

The other day, I happened to be in San Diego. This happens quite a bit as a border dweller; there are certain things that I need and I can only find them on the US side, or they are much cheaper. I happened to be in North San Diego the other day on an errand, and I had some time on my hands. It was early in the morning, and I decided to swing by the Historic Mission San Diego.

My own photo.
I have long been in love with this church, and this is not my first visit. I first visted the Mission when I was fifteen or sixteen and I was visiting San Diego when my brother was stationed here. He lived not far away, and one day my mom and I attended Mass in this beautiful building. My love affair with this building is long-entwined with my relationship with Hector. Hector and I met on July 16, 2001. This church was founded by Junipero Serra on July 16, 1769. For this fact alone, I dreamed of a beautiful wedding in this church to my beloved Hector. I always thought we'd live in Sounthern California, because San Diego was my favorite city. I just never realized how far south we'd actually end up. It was bittersweet when I walked into this church this time, because it is less than 25 miles away from us, but we will never be able to attend Mass together in this church.

I snapped pictures of the details, I love, but there are many more I didn't grab with my camera. Like the thick walls. The walls are adobe; they are about 3 feet thick. I love this old construction style. I didn't go into the garden, because I didn't have time on this visit, but there is a beautiful fountain. This is the place I first saw a hummingbird. The doors have amazing detail, but I couldn't get a very good picture of them with my cruddy phone camera. The uneven brick floors. You can tell that this buliding was build 100% by hand- you can smell the history inside the sanctuary.

The beautiful, veiled, high altar. I've also always loved the shell designs on the wall
and the canopy over the ambo.
The bronze(?) candle holders for the prayer candles. I love how they add to the rustic, old feeling of the entire place.
There is a million of these plaques all over the place commemorating the mission,
Fr. Serra, and California Historic Monuments.
A bust of Father Serra outside of the church.
The beautiful crucifix in the back of the church. There is another on the high altar.
This. This holy water font just draws me in. I love the shell, but I love all the wear and tear on it. It is a helpful reminder that you are entering a 245 year old building of God. 
I love attending Mass here, because it is such a treat. It is here that I fell in love with the California Missions and it is the first of many that I want to visit and experience. To me, it is a great testimony to God and His holy Church that after so many years, and after such a secularization of California, the Mission that really began the state of California is still holding Mass twice daily and is still in full operation. If it weren't for these missions, for the Church, the history of the state of California would have been very different. 

For more information about the Mission, including Mass times, Gift Shop hours, and tour information, contact the mission at their website: www.missionsandiego.com

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