Fermín de Francisco Lasuén de Arasqueta (Vitoria (Spain), June 7, 1736 – Mission de San Carlos (California), June 26, 1803) was a Basque Franciscan missionary to Alta California president of the Franciscan missions there, and founder of nine of the twenty-one Spanish missions in California.
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to proselytize or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send". The word was used in light of its biblical usage; in the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach The gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology.
Alta California, known sometimes unofficially as Nueva California, California Septentrional, California del Norte or California Superior, began in 1804 as a province of New Spain. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had previously comprised the province of Las Californias, but was split off into a separate province in 1804. Following the Mexican War of Independence, it became a territory of Mexico in April 1822 and was renamed "Alta California" in 1824. The claimed territory included all of the modern US states of California, Nevada and Utah, and parts of Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.
The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of 21 religious outposts or missions established between 1769 and 1833 in today's U.S. State of California. Founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order to evangelize the Native Americans, the missions led to the creation of the New Spain province of Alta California and were part of the expansion of the Spanish Empire into the most northern and western parts of Spanish North America.
Although he is sometimes called the "forgotten friar," Fermín Lasuén actually governed the California Mission system three years longer than his more famous predecessor, Junípero Serra. Lasuén was born at Vitoria in Álava, Spain on July 7, 1736 and joined the Franciscan order as a teenager, entering the Friary of San Francisco shortly before his fifteenth birthday on March 19, 1751. On March 19, 1751, Lasuén was ceremoniously invested with his Franciscan habit.
Saint Junípero Serra y Ferrer, O.F.M., was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, in what was then Alta California in the Province of Las Californias, New Spain. Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, in the Vatican City. Pope Francis canonised him on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States. His missionary efforts earned him the title of Apostle of California.
Vitoria-Gasteiz is the seat of government and the capital city of the Basque Autonomous Community and of the province of Araba/Álava in northern Spain. It holds the autonomous community's House of Parliament, the headquarters of the Government, and the Lehendakari's official residency. The municipality — which comprises not only the city but also the mainly agricultural lands of 63 villages around — is the largest in the Basque Autonomous Community, with a total area of 276.81 km2, and it has a population of 242,082 people (2014). The dwellers of Vitoria-Gasteiz are called vitorianos or gasteiztarrak, while traditionally they are dubbed babazorros.
Álava or Araba, officially Araba/Álava, is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Álava, former medieval Catholic bishopric and now Latin titular see.
In 1759, Lasuén left the Franciscan Sanctuary of Arantzazu (Gipuzkoa). [ citation needed ]He then set sail from Cádiz with seventeen other friars while still a deacon to volunteer for ministry in the Americas. He arrived in New Spain in 1761 and was sent west to Las Californias in 1768. Following the establishment of Mission San Diego de Alcalá in 1769, he moved north to Alta California in 1773. He based himself in San Diego and remained there until 1775; he helped establish Mission San Juan Capistrano before the murder of Luís Jayme. Kumeyaay Indian unrest caused his return to San Diego.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu[aˈɾants̻as̻u] is a Franciscan sanctuary located in Oñati, Basque Country, Spain. The shrine is a much appreciated place among Gipuzkoans, with the Virgin of Arantzazu standing for the main worship figure and patron of the province along with Ignatius of Loyola.
Gipuzkoa is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is Donostia-San Sebastián. Gipuzkoa shares borders with the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques at the northeast, with the province and autonomous community of Navarre at east, Biscay at west, Álava at southwest and the Bay of Biscay to its north. It is located at the easternmost extreme of the Cantabric Sea, in the Bay of Biscay. It has 66 kilometres of coast land.
Cádiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.
In late 1776 he went to San Luis Obispo before again returning to San Diego in 1777 when he was made minister there. He was appointed the second Presidente of the missions in California in 1785, following the death of Junípero Serra, and transferred to the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. Lasuén continued the work begun by Serra, establishing 9 more missions, bringing the total to 18 (the final total was 21). He died at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo on July 26, 1803. On his death he was succeeded by Esteban Tápis.[ citation needed ]
Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo or Misión de San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, first built in 1797, is one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. The mission was the headquarters of all Alta California missions from 1797 until 1833. It was headed by Saint Junípero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784. It was also the seat of the second presidente, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, who was in charge of completing nine more mission churches.
Father Estevan Tapis, O.F.M., was a Spanish missionary to the Americas.
Although of a more introspective and brooding temperament than his predecessor Junipero Serra, Lasuén was single-minded and a capable administrator, founding the remaining California missions. Captain Alessandro Malaspina described Lasuén as such: "...a man who in Christian lore, piety and conduct was truly apostolic, and his manner and learning unusual."It is clear from his diaries that Lasuén struggled with loneliness and perhaps some depression brought about by the extreme conditions he encountered in San Diego when he was asked to return to restore order after the murder of Fray Jayme. Lasuén described the ardors of missionary life as such:
Alessandro Malaspina was a Tuscan explorer who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer. Under a Spanish royal commission, he undertook a voyage around the world from 1786 to 1788, then, from 1789 to 1794, a scientific expedition throughout the Pacific Ocean, exploring and mapping much of the west coast of the Americas from Cape Horn to the Gulf of Alaska, crossing to Guam and the Philippines, and stopping in New Zealand, Australia, and Tonga.
"A missionary priest has to engage in many duties, many of which only concern him as a means to something else. He is responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of people who are many and varied. He has individuals who are more dependent on him than small children, for there are many needs that arise...and many different things to be done for the different groups that make up the community. He is surrounded by pagans, and placed in charge of neophytes who can be trusted but a little..."
At age 47, writing to his friend Fray Joseph de Jesus Maria Velez in 1783, Lasuén stated:
"I am already old and entirely gray and although [to some extent] this is caused by my age, yet the difficult exercise of my position here has also brought this about, especially during the five years I am about to celebrate as minister of San Diego. This land is for apostles only and its people call for apostolic men greater than I happen to be; but (thanks to God) I enjoy good health and shall try to use it to some good purpose, although somewhat languidly.
His Christian zeal and sense of "civilizing" purpose led him to great lengths in order to acculturate Native Americans, even using their language in his pursuit, despite the Spanish king's prohibition in that respect. News of the mistreatment of Native Americans in the Mission of San Francisco reached governor of California Diego de Borica, also a Basque, who warned of a lawsuit against Lasuén should he not give up on his practices.
He also oversaw the expansion of many of the California mission sites and helped many other missions like Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.
Juan Bautista de Anza was born in the Spanish Provence of New Navarre in Viceroyalty of New Spain. Of Basque descent, he served as an expeditionary leader, military officer, and politician primarily in California and New Mexico under the Spanish Empire. He is credited as one of the founding fathers of Spanish California and served as an official within New Spain as Governor of the Province of New Mexico.
Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order near present-day Santa Barbara, California. It was founded by Padre Fermín Lasuén on December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the indigenous local Chumash-Barbareño tribe of Native American people. The mission is the namesake of the city of Santa Barbara as well as of Santa Barbara County.
Mission San Fernando Rey de España is a Spanish mission in the Mission Hills the district of Los Angeles, California. The mission was founded on September 8, 1797, and was the seventeenth of the twenty-one Spanish missions established in Alta California. Named for Saint Ferdinand, the mission is the namesake of the nearby city of San Fernando and the San Fernando Valley.
Petra is a town and municipality on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, in the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. "Petra" means "rock" in Latin.
Pedro Fages was a Spanish soldier, explorer, first Lieutenant Governor of the Californias under Gaspar de Portolá, and second (1770–74) and fifth (1782–91) Governor of Alta California.
Joan Crespí or Juan Crespí was a Franciscan missionary and explorer of Las Californias.
The Portolà expedition was a Spanish voyage of exploration in 1769–1770 that was the first recorded European land entry and exploration of the interior of the present-day U.S. state of California. It was led by Gaspar de Portolà, governor of Las Californias, the Spanish colonial province that included California, Baja California, and other parts of present-day Mexico and the United States. The expedition led to the founding of Alta California and contributed to the solidification of Spanish territorial claims in the disputed and unexplored regions along the Pacific coast of North America.
José Francisco Ortega was a Spanish soldier and early settler of Alta California. A member of the Portola expedition in 1769, Ortega stayed on to become the patriarch of an important Californio family.
José de Gálvez y Gallardo, 1st Marquess of Sonora, OCIII was a Spanish lawyer and Visitador generál in New Spain (1764–1772); later appointed to the Council of the Indies (1775–1787). He was one of the prime figures behind the Bourbon Reforms. He belonged to an important political family that included his brother Matías de Gálvez and nephew Bernardo de Gálvez.
Fernando Javier Rivera y Moncada, born in Mexico, was a soldier of the Spanish Empire in New Spain. He served in the far north-western frontier of New Spain, in The Californias, participating in several early overland explorations. Fernando Rivera y Moncada served as third Governor of The Californias, from 1774–1777.
Francesc Palóu or Francisco Palóu (1723–1789) was a Spanish Franciscan missionary, administrator and historian on the Baja California Peninsula and in Alta California. Palóu made significant contributions to the Alta California and Baja California mission systems. Along with his mentor, Junípero Serra, Palóu worked to build numerous missions throughout Alta and Baja California, many structures of which still stand today. A member of the Franciscan Order, Palóu became "Presidente" of the missions in Baja California, and later of missions of Alta California. Palóu's work in the Spanish mission system spans from his early twenties to his death at the age of 66.
Father Vicente Francisco de Sarría was a Spanish missionary to the Americas.
José Joaquín de Arrillaga was an officer of Basque origin born in Aia, Spain, who went on to become seventh (1792-1794) and tenth (1800–1814) governor of Alta California.
Diego de Borica (1742–1800) was a Basque Spanish explorer and the seventh governor of Alta California from 1794 to 1800.
Luis Jayme O.F.M., born Melchor Jayme, was a Spanish-born Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order. Born at the farm Son Baró in the village of Sant Joan, Majorca, his earliest schooling was acquired from the local parish priest. At the age of fifteen Melchor was enrolled at the convent school of San Bernardino, where Fray Junípero Serra had studied some years earlier.
Father Gregório Amúrrio, O.F.M. was a Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order, and a Spanish missionary in California during the 18th century. A member of the Franciscan Province of Cantabria, Spain, he was one of twenty Franciscans who set out from the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico in October, 1770 to labor in the Spanish missions in Baja California.
Pablo de Mugártegui, O.F.M., was a Basque Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order, and a missionary in California during the 18th century. Along with Father Gregório Amúrrio, Mugártegui was a member of the Franciscan Province of Cantabria before he joined the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico
Francisco Dumetz was a Spanish Franciscan missionary. He gave the San Bernardino Valley in California its name, in 1810.
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