Monday, October 23, 2006

San Juan Capistrano, O.F.M. .

In the Pauline Rite this is the feast of St John of Capistran, the patron of the old California mission of San Juan Capistrano. He began is career as a lawyer but eventually acknowledged a religious vocation and became a Franciscan of the "Observant" reform.

The original of the illustration hangs in the basilica of the parish of San Juan Capistrano next door to the old mission. It shows St John in partial armour and a Franciscan habit of chain mail. That particular ensemble refers to his participation in a crusade against the Mahometans. The good old Catholic Encyclopædia puts it succinctly:

When the crusade was actually in operation John accompanied the famous Hunyady throughout the campaign: he was present at the battle of Belgrade, and led the left wing of the Christian army against the Turks.

The eponymous mission has a disappointing website here. Better you visit an old post of Meredith's on Basia Me. . . where you can find her own photographs of the mission. They're here.