Song of the Swallows and Color Page

To print this coloring page click HERE.

I have always been captivated by the story of  the swallows that find their way to Mission San Juan Capistrano every year on or around  the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19th).   My mom found this dear little children's book
for me even before I ever visited the mission in southern California.   It's called
Song of the Swallows
and it is about a little boy named Juan.  Juan is told the story of the Mission by old Julian the bell ringer.  
Not only do you get to read the story in this book, but there is a little song or two. (Click picture for a larger image.)
 La Golondrina is Spanish for swallow.

Although I had visited nearly all of the missions
of the El Camino Real (The Royal Road)

near the ocean waves of the California coast, I did not actually did not see Mission San Juan Capistrano until a few years ago.  We went on our wedding anniversary that first time.
It was the one I wanted most to see.  Once there, I knew I had to go back.  The swallows and the mission bells were calling me.  Fortunate for me, we have family in Southern California and so I have been able to coax my husband go with me to the mission a few times.  

You may be familiar with a bit of California history and know that  nine of the twenty-one California missions were established by Bl. Junipero Serra .

Father Serra, a Franciscan priest,  was born Miguel Jose Serra on the Island of Majorca, Spain.  He made his solemn profession in September of 1731 and took the name Junipero after Saint Juniper.  In 1749 Father Serra joined the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico in Mexico City.  In his travels from Vera Cruz to North America, he was bitten by a snake after refusing to ride a mule as he preferred to walk instead.  The snake bite caused him suffering for the remainder of his life.  Fr. Serra first established Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo, then  Mission San Antonio de Padua, Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission San Francisco de Asís, Mission Santa Clara de Asís, and Mission San Buenaventura.
founded on All Saints Day in 1776,  is known as the Jewel of the Missions.  And it really is a jewel!

It is certainly one of the prettiest!  It is the oldest known structure still in use in the state of California.   Mission San Juan Capistrano was named for  Saint John of Capistrano , Italy, whose feast day is October 23 (my dad's birthday!).

Mission Capistrano has a very beautiful chapel.  I apologize a for the poor quality of this photo. (And all of the photos as I didn't have digital images.)  Maybe next time I can get a better picture.

Here is a rather grainy  closeup of the altar.
There are beautiful gardens.
A more formal interior garden (the courtyard) with a fountain.
 (On this particular day it was overcast.)

The other garden has roses and hollyhocks

 and lavender.

A lovely fountain.
I love the architecture!
And the The Great Stone Church, still magnificent as a ruin.  (It was leveled by an earthquake in December of 1812.)

 Isn't Mission San Juan Capistrano Beautiful?
I think I hear the Song of the Swallows calling me...

The feast day of Bl. Junipero Serra is July 1st (along with Saint Aaron, the brother of Moses who is the patron of button-makers).

Here are a few color pages to enjoy.

Click HERE to print the Mission San Juan Capistrano and Swallow coloring page.

And a prayer for the Canonization of Father Junipero Sera:

Heavenly Father, we ask You to look
lovingly on the missionary journey of your
faithful servant, Blessed Junípero Serra.

His steadfast efforts in founding nine missions in California and the conversion of thousands of Native Americans have inspired the vocation and work or Serra International.
This ministry in Father Serra's name
is to encourage and affirm vocations
to priesthood and vowed religious life.

We pray that you bless the holy
and courageous Franciscan missionary
and grant him the ultimate honor
of Sainthood in your heavenly kingdom.

We ask this in the name of Thy Blessed Trinity
and of Mary, Queen of Vocations.

And just for fun, here's how I drew the "mirror image" of the swallow (see my color page) from my souvenir Capistrano tile.   I looked at it in a mirror :-)
And as Murphy's Law would have it (and perhaps the devil), I couldn't find my little vintage book on Father Junipero Serra.  I wanted to show it to you because it is so delightful...


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