Mission Artifacts Now on Display Permanently

The exhibit Mission Treasures: Historical Collection Revealed is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Now on display permanently at is an exhibit featuring rare paintings, religious and historic artifacts, and documents chronicling little-known details of the landmark’s history.

The "Lincoln Document,"s vestment and a painting depicting silent film star Mary Pickford's secret wedding at the mission are among the pieces of the exhibit "" that was scheduled to close Sept. 5.

[READ: Los Angeles Times' article "Mission San Juan Capistrano Showcases Its Historical Treasures."]

The exhibit is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From a press release issued Tuesday afternoon by the mission, here's a small sample of what's on display:

LINCOLN DOCUMENT: Abraham Lincoln never got to visit California, and just 27 days before he was felled by an assassin’s bullet, Lincoln made California history with the stroke of a pen. In surely what was one of the final documents signed by nation’s 16th president, Lincoln on March 18, 1865, put his name to the Lincoln Document, which upheld the 1855 U.S. Land Commission’s decision concerning all mission lands statewide and supported Bishop Alemany’s 1851 petition to have all mission lands illegally confiscated and sold by the Mexican government returned to the Catholic Church.

TABERNACLE: This 19th-century Spanish colonial tabernacle with its intricate carvings and vibrant paint was designed to stand out from the other furnishings within Mission San Juan Capistrano's Serra Chapel and to inspire reverence and devotion for the contents housed inside.

ORIGINAL RECORDS: Every California mission has record books that date to the day of their founding, featuring the sacramental records of its parish community at the time. For Mission San Juan Capistrano, these books include the elegant writing on the first page of each of these records from the first father president of the California missions, Father Junipero Serra. On loan from the Diocese of Orange Archives, these three record books include the original baptism records, original marriage records and original burial records of Mission San Juan Capistrano.

FATHER ST. JOHN O'SULLVAN PORTRAIT: Mission San Juan Capistrano's preservation era began with the arrival of a young pastor named Father St. John O'Sullivan, who became known as the "mission's  great restorer" after he started a pivotal chapter in the Mission's evolution as a California landmark. O'Sullivan recruited local artists from the artists' colony in Laguna Beach to help spread the word about the mission's needs and goals. One such artist was Hungarian-born Joseph Kleitsch, who visited the mission often and, like many artists, exchanged artwork for room and board at the mission. One of Kleitsch's pieces of work is a portrait of O'Sullivan.

FATHER JUNIPERO SERRA'S VESTMENT: This vestment is reportedly one that was once worn by Serra, the founder of the California mission system and is displayed as part of the Treasures collection. A vestment is a collection of religious or liturgical clothing priests wear when celebrating Mass. Fabricated in the 1700s, the chasuble, stole and maniple displayed in the exhibit were reportedly worn by Serra, the first president of the California missions. Serra led the founding of the California missions in 1769, and Mission San Juan Capistrano is one of the first nine missions that he founded. He celebrated Mass in the building now known as the "Serra Chapel" in 1778 and 1784. Serra died in 1784 and is now being considered for sainthood.




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