Established: July14, 1771
By: Father Junipero Serra
Order: 3rd of the 21 missions
Location: 60 miles South West of Monterey
Named For: St. Anthony
Interesting Fact: One interesting fact is that it was the 1st mission to use tile on the church roof.
San Antonio de Padua is named after a 13th century predictor named St. Anthony and known as "the miracle worker." First just a few living quarters were built by some Spanish soldiers and padres. Soon some "Neophytes" (Native Americans) volunteered to help build the mission bigger. It soon had a massive population of nearly 1,000 Neophytes and 200 Spaniards; two of them were padres.
The San Antonio mission was started by Father Junipero Serra. He was born on November 24, 1713 in Majorca - a small island off the coast of Spain. He started nine missions in his life; seven of which were on El Camino Real.
Father Serra was a member of the Order of St. Francis. In Mexico City, he studied how to be a missionary. First he worked at several missions in the Bahamas and Florida. Then he traveled clear across the country to San Diego with his son, a donkey, and some luggage and started the first mission in California. Then he traveled to San Carlos and started the San Carlos mission. Finally, he went to the Rio de San Antonio and built the San Antonio mission. At age 71, in 1784, he died.
My mission was built 60 miles South West of Monterey. It took about 750 Neophytes and a handful of soldiers to make it. Out of all the missions with adobe bricks and tile roofs, San Antonio mission was the first to have them. In the time it was serviced, it had three churches altogether. It had many living quarters and several workshops. Some of the shops were for candle making while others were for leather making and soap making. It had three large gold bells above the one of the churches. It had a large fountain near the patio in the courtyard. The most impressive feature was the water-powered gristmill. All the other mills in the world were man powered or horse powered which was less effective and harder to work. The second church of the three churches was the first church to have a tile roof.
The San Antonio mission became a military base during World War II. Years later when it was discovered by the public, several machine guns and tank tracks were found all over the place. It is now fully restored and one of the most well preserved missions. Some missions are government property, but the San Antonio mission is not. It is one of the most popular missions and is open to the public.