One of my students who goes to New Traditions Elementary School is doing a report on California Missions, specifically Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. I’ve been helping her learn about the mission. One thing that we read in Wikipedia today, I wish I had known about before:
Legend has it that the founding expedition was confronted by a large group of native Tongva peoples whose intention was to drive the strangers away. One of the priests laid a painting of “Our Lady of Sorrows” on the ground for all to see, whereupon the natives, designated by the settlers as the Gabrieliños, immediately made peace with the missionaries, because they were so moved by the painting’s beauty. Today the 300-year-old work hangs in front of and slightly to the left of the old high altar and reredos in the Mission’s sanctuary.
If I had known about this legend while I was going to U.C.L.A., I probably would have visited the mission.