San Rafael Mission, San Rafael

4 out of 5 stars 3 Reviews

1104 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901 (415) 456-3016

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  • Mission
    by Ewingjr98
  • Church
    by Ewingjr98
  • Statue of the Archangel Raphael
    Statue of the Archangel Raphael
    by Rixie
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    San Rafael Mission

    by Ewingjr98 Written Jul 6, 2007

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    Originally a sub mission to San Francsico's Mission Dolores, San Rafael Arcángel was established as an independent mission in 1822. In 1834 San Rafael's mission was the first to be secularized by the Mexican government, and by 1844 it was abandoned. In 1863, President Lincoln signed an act returning all 21 of California's missions to the Catholic Church. A replica of the original mission chapel was built in 1949 and, along with the Saint Raphael Catholic Church, is still used for church services.

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    Mission San Rafael Arcangel

    by Rixie Updated Sep 8, 2006

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    Chapel, Mission San Rafael
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    The city of San Rafael had its beginnings as a Spanish mission. In 1817 Spanish missionaries built a sanitarium for ailing Indians, an asistencia of San Francisco's Mission Dolores, and named it after the Archangel Raphael, the angel of healing. In 1822 it became an independent mission, Mission San Rafael Arcangel, but it was short-lived. When Mexico won its independence from Spain and decided to end the mission system in 1834, Mission San Rafael was the first to be secularized.

    Today nothing remains of the original mission. The chapel (reconstructed in 1949 from what is now known to be a historically inaccurate drawing) is flanked by the large parish church, St. Raphael's, and the Catholic school of the same name, which dates from 1889.

    Although the tiny chapel bears no resemblance to the original two-story adobe mission, it is serene and charming and worth visiting. You can sit in a pew and imagine the building filled with brown-robed Franciscan priests and Indian neophytes in the early 19th century.

    The Mission gift shop next door sells postcards and religious items.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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    Mission San Rafael Arcangel

    by karenincalifornia Updated Dec 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mission San Rafael, CA

    The Mission San Rafael Arcangel is the centerpiece of the town. It was founded in 1817 as the 20th of 21 missions in the chain of Alta California. Originally established as a convalescent hospital for ill Christianized native Americans from San Francisco, the Mission provided a better place for recuperation in the warm, dry climate of San Rafael than the often damp and foggy San Francisco.

    The church is open to visitors and there is a gift shop on site.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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