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Mission San Rafael Arcangel. By Hunter Cotton 5/3/13 Mrs. Gil. Location. San Rafael was founded fifteen miles north of San Francisco. Today, the mission is located in San Rafael. 1104 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, 94901. Founding History.

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by hunter cotton 5 3 13 mrs gil

Mission San Rafael Arcangel

By Hunter Cotton


Mrs. Gil

  • San Rafael was founded fifteen miles north of San Francisco.
  • Today, the mission is located in San Rafael.
  • 1104 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, 94901.
founding history
Founding History
  • San Rafael Arcangel was founded on December 14, 1817 by Fray Vincente Francisco Sarria as the twentieth mission.
  • The mission was named after the patron saint of good health (Named after Saint Raphael).
  • San Rafael was originally meant to be a hospital, but became a full mission on October 19, 1822.
san rafael arcangel layout
San Rafael Arcangel Layout

San Rafael Arcangel has a cemetery where the dead lie, a church where the people of the mission would pray, a hospital where the sick got taken care of, a Friars’ Quarters where meetings were held, the bells that woke everybody up from their shut-eye for their daily jobs that had to be done, and more.

mission life
Mission Life

Native American Life

Missionary Life

The missionaries would wake up and ring the bells to wake the Natives from their sleep and teach them about the Holy Bible. Then, they would feed the American Indians some breakfast.

Missionaries taught the Natives how to prepare and cook food, how to harvest the fields, how to herd, tend, and collect the fur off of the livestock, how to make adobe bricks and clay tiles, and how to make clothes.

  • Everyday, the bells would wake up the people of the mission, and then they would head towards the church for morning mass to pray. After mass, they ate atole and drank hot chocolate.
  • The Indians would work for the mission, preparing food for the people. They had special jobs for each person. The women had to learn how to clean, cook, and make clothes. The men had to create adobe bricks, make clay tiles, (tend, herd, and collect the fur off of the livestock), and harvest fields.
san rafael today
San Rafael Today

The mission San Rafael Arcangel was created with a hospital and a sanitarium for the neophytes (newly baptized) of San Francisco dying/suffering from disease and depression. At this time, a chapel copies some of the real church of the mission. The mission stands beside the Saint Raphael church. Visitors are welcome to visit. Mission San Rafael has a gift shop and a small museum.

take a stand
Take a Stand

The Mission System was an unfair way of life.

In 1769, the mission system had been started. The missionaries taught the Native Americans Christianity. They had to follow the mission rules, and work for the mission.

One reason is that the Native Americans were required to change their original religion. It was a hard way to live. The Indians got forced to believe in Jesus when they had their own religion.

Another reason is that Natives caught diseases, getting infections and dying. The misbehaving Native Americans got whipped or got put in chains. They also died from being beaten to death. They were violently abused. This was their punishment.

The last reason is that the Natives were “slaves of the mission” meaning that they had to do what they were told or else they would be punished. They had to work for the mission. If they broke a rule, promise or just did something wrong, they got punished by the Padres.


Ching, Jacqueline. Mission San Rafael Arcangel. New York: PowerKids Press, 2000.

Anonymous “I am Morning Dove”. California Studies Weekly. Second Quarter 2012 – 2013: Week 12.

Anonymous “A ‘Sacred Expedition’ to California”. California Studies Weekly. Second Quarter 2012 – 2013 Week 10.

“Mission Life”. Reflections. 2007: 134 – 141

California Missions On-Line Project

California Missions Resource Center

California Missions Trail

Missions of California - Kidport