Friday, August 20, 2010

Martyr Padre Luis Jayme (San Diego Mission)

(GPS: N32 47.040 W117 06.350)

In the state of California, as part of California history, all 4th grade elementary students get exposed to the California missions. If they live close to one that usually means they get a field trip to it. I have visited a couple of them this year. Each one I visited will come up on here for different reasons in the next six months or so. In this blog entry I hope to lay part of the foundation for the epic project that I intend to present in 2011. In that project, the missions are not really the focus, but are part of the historical background of it. It will make more sense when I actually start presenting it.

This mission is important in that it was the first one the Spanish built in Alta California. As part of the colonization of the California region, the Spanish built the missions to convert and assimilate the local Indian tribes. In theory, each mission belonged to the local Indians that lived nearby. When the mission had been up for ten years, the mission was to be run by the local Indians, but that never happened with the missions in California. Later, when Mexico had control of the land, secularization took place when meant land grants were usually given to prominent Mexicans (with a few execeptions); that is where the missions land went.

Originally, Father Junipero Serra founded the first mission in 1769 near the Presido, but five years later it was decided by Serra and Father Luis Jayme that a better location was six miles to the east. That leads us to this location the mission was started in August, 1774.
Father Serra went on to found other missions along the coastline. Father Jayme had great success in conversions, but some Indians nearby were not happy with the changes. On November 4th, 1775, in the early morning hours, hundreds of Indians attacked the mission. While lighting it on fire, Padre Jayme confronted them. He is reported as greeting the attackers with, "Amur a Dios, hijos! (Love God my children!)" He was mobbed and violently killed. When I went there I faced the church in the above picture and then headed off to the right side.
The site of the cross is supposed to be close to where California's first Christian Martyr was taken from and killed. There is a monument dedicated to Father Jayme there. After going inside the mission I went into the church. The mission church is a basilca.
All of what you see in the church had been rebuilt a few times. What happened was Father Jayme's remains were eventually brought back and located here in a vault near the marble cross you see in the next picture. The remains of a few other significant padre's are here as well. However, the candle is supposed to burn continually in his Father Jayme's memory.
One thing to note in the following picture is that the arms of Jesus on that cross on that statue are missing. They broke off and were intended to be replaced, but that never happened.
Just as I was leaving the mission I checked out the area some archeological work had been done on the foundations.
In the video I show a few more of the areas. The rectory right next to the entrance to the mission was being worked on. After going in the church, I visited the garden which gives you the other side of the church bells. They do have a small museum named after Padre Jayme that shows some artifacts of the time period; all the missions I have visited have something like this.

Martyr Padre Luis Jayme (Youtube Version)

Martyr Padre Luis Jayme (Vimeo Version)

There is tons of information on the missions and the San Diego mission out there. Google is your friend on this if you want to learn more. I will list a few related articles:

Padre Luis Jayme Wikipedia

An old San Diego Journal Article

Another San Diego Journal Article on the Revolt

The San Diego Mission Wikipedia

The Official San Diego Mission Site

MissionTour (This shows a good graphic of the marble cross)

Finally, a good overview of the background on the missions and what happened to them.