Death of Saint Barnabas, Apostle who traveled to Cyprus and Asia Minor with Saint Paul. He also traveled to Rome and consulted with Saint Peter before returning later to be with his cousin in Cypress and it was there that he was stoned to death by pagans in Salamis. His relics were found in the fifth century and preserved. While many historians believe Barnabas composed the Letter to the Hebrews, there is no definitive proof of this.
August 25, 1297
Feast day of St. Louis IX, King of France (April 25, 1215-Aug. 25, 1270)
July 18, 1769
Spanish get first glimpse of San Luis Rey Valley. Friar Juan Crespi, a
member of the expedition en route to Monterey from San Diego, describes it
as "so green that it seemed to us that it had been planted." The valley
was named "San Juan Capistrano" and earmarked as a site for future mission.
Almost 30 years went by before the valley was renamed.
February 27, 1798
Spanish Gov. Diego Borica orders the commander of the San Diego presidio
to supply a guard and soldiers to support the building of a mission on this
site. Mission San Juan Capistrano was already established n 1776 so the
new mission is to be called San Luis Rey de Francia.
June 13, 1798
Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen celebrates the first mass on the site of
Mission San Luis Rey on the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua. Attendees
include Father Antonio Peyri, the first Franciscan guardian, several
soldiers and members of the San Luis Rey band of Luiseno Mission Indians.
October 4, 1815
Mission church is finally completed and dedicated on the Feast of St.
San Antonio de Pala asistencia is established to accommodate Native
Americans who live farther away from the mission.
March 20, 1829
Mexico expels all males under 60 of Spanish birth. Father Peyri applies
for passport to return to Spain but is allowed to stay for a transition
Pepper tree arrives from Peru.
January 17, 1832
Father Peyri leaves the mission and sails to Mexico aboard the U.S. ship
"Pocahontas" from San Diego. He is accompanied by two Luiseno neophytes,
Pablo Tac and Agapito Amamix. The latter dies a short while later in Rome.
Pablo Tac, who dies in 1841 at age 19, writes about his life at Mission
San Luis Rey.
August 22, 1935
Mission inventory is surrendered to Mexican Gov. Pio Pico.
Friar Francisco Ibarra dies and is buried in the mission church.
May 18, 1846
Gov. Pico sells the mission for $2,437.
Father Jose Marie Zalvidea, the last of the Spanish padres to live at the
mission, dies and is buried in the church.
Capt. John Fremont assigns John Bidwell to secure the mission and
surrounding property after the U.S.-Mexico War.
Kit Carson and Capt. Stephen Kearney cap at Mission San Luis Rey.
January 2, 1847
Capt. Kearny's U.S. troops arrive at the mission.
January 27, 1847
U.S. Mormon battalion arrives after overland march from Midwest.
April 10, 1849
U.S. Army squadron from Los Angeles arrives to prepare military living
quarters at the mission.
Almost two years after California becomes a state, the U.S. Boundary
Commission arrives at Mission San Luis Rey to assess property and determine
March 18, 1865
President Abraham Lincoln signs documents restoring ownership of the
mission to the Roman Catholic Church.
Mission San Luis Rey is opened to exiled friars from Zacatecas, Mexico.
Father Joseph Jeremiah O'Keefe is assigned to the mission as guardian to
serve as liaison between the Mexican refugees and the St. Barbara Province
and becomes the "rebuilder of the mission."
Work begins immediately on temporary housing for the Mexican novices
undergoing training at the mission.
May 12, 1893
The mission church is rededicated. More than 300 people, including
several elderly Luisenos, attend.
Repairs are made to the church.
March 19, 1903
The Mexican Franciscans return to Mexico and no longer use the novitiate
provided for them at Mission San Luis Rey.
Permanent living quarters are built. The buildings form a small
quadrangle about one-fourth the size of the original six-acre quadrangle.
July 24, 1912
The general chapter of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart, based
in St. Louis, receives the mission into its care.
September 18, 1912
Father O'Keefe leaves the mission after 19 years of leading the mission
through several rebuilding phases.
July 25, 1913
The statue of San Luis Rey is blessed and hoisted into its niche over the
main entrance to the church.
The Sisters of the Precious Blood arrive to open a parochial school.
September 15, 1913
The school opens.
March 14, 1914
Rebuilt mortuary chapel is dedicated.
November 15, 1915
New quarters are blessed for the school.
August 13, 1915
Friar O'Keefe dies at Santa Barbara.
Bell tower, damaged by earlier earthquake, collapses in heavy rains.
New bell tower dedicated.
January 12, 1928
Friars' vault is blessed in cemetery.
Academy of the Little Flower opens.
February 13, 1931
After a year of work, a new roof, ceiling beams and cupola are added to
the church by Friar Ferdinand Ortiz. The new construction continues Friar
O'Keef's efforts to restores the church closer to the original built by
May 25, 1934
A new kitchen is completed.
An Historic American Buildings Survey is taken at the mission.
June 2, 1949
Ground is broken for construction of the San Luis Rey Franciscan College
to be built on the foundation of the original west and north wings of the
June 15, 1950
The new college dormitories and classrooms are dedicated.
Television's "Zorro" series is filmed at Mission San Luis Rey.
Soldiers' barracks and lavanderia (laundry) are excavated.
The college closes.
Because of its architectural features, Mission San Luis Rey Church is
designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the
Interior. The retreat center opens.
Ed Gabarra, first secular executive director hired. Nine-member board of
San Luis Rey Parish opens Serra Center.
June 13, 1998
200th Anniversary of San Luis Rey Mission, celebrated by the Bishop and the first performance ever by the Vatican Choir outside of Europe!