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Bell and Ruins (2005)

The original “San Vicente” bell at the San Juan Capistrano Mission, with the ruins of the Great Stone Church in the background. Cast in 1796, this was the largest of four bells that hung in the 37-meter-high campanile of the church. An earthquake destroyed the church and toppled the campanile in 1812; it also damaged this bell so it could no longer ring properly.

The Latin text on the bell reads “Praised by Jesus, San Vicente. In honor of the Reverend Fathers, Ministers Fray Vicente Fuster, and Fray Juan Santiago, 1796.” Fuster and Santiago were the Franciscan padres in charge of the mission at the time.


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