Mission Santa Clara de AsisMission Santa Clara de Asís was founded on January 12, 1777 by Father Junipero Serra, the eighth mission in the California mission chain. It was named for St. Clare of Assisi, the founder of the order of the Poor Clares, and the first mission named for a woman. It is located in the city of Santa Clara, California, on the campus of Santa Clara University.
Initially, there was tension between the people of Mission Santa Clara de Asís and those in the nearby Pueblo de San Jose over disputed ownership rights of land and water. The tension was relieved when a road was built by 200 Indians to link the communities together. On Sundays, people from San Jose would come to the mission for services.
In 1850, California became a state and the Jesuit order of priests took over the Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Father John Nobili was put in charge of the mission. He began a college on the mission site, which grew into Santa Clara University. It is the only mission to become part of a university, and it is also the oldest university in California. Throughout the history of the mission, the bells have rung faithfully every evening. This was a promise made to King Charles IV of Spain when he sent the original bells to the mission in 1777. He asked that the bells be rung each evening at 8:30 in memory of those who had died.
Mission Santa Clara de Asís sits on the campus of the Santa Clara University. It is used as a church for the university and the community. It is open to visitors and has a museum on the campus.
See also: California mission