Mission San Luís Rey de Francia ("The King of the Missions") was founded on June 13, 1798 by Father Fermín Francisco de Lasuén. It is the eighteenth mission in the mission chain in California, and the last founded by Father Lasuén. It was named for St. Louis, King of France. It is located in Oceanside, California, in northern San Diego County.
When it was built the local inhabitants were the Kumeyaay people, also known as the Diegueños. In 1816 Mission San Antonio de Pala was established twenty miles inland as an asistencia ("sub-mission") to the mission.
No services were held at the Mission San Luís Rey de Francia for 46 years. It was not until 1892 when two Mexican priests were given permission to restore the mission as a monastery. Father Joseph O'Keefe was assigned to the mission as an interpreter for the monks. It was he who began to restore the old mission in 1895. The cuadrángulo (quadrangle) and church were completed in 1905.
Today Mission San Luís Rey de Francia is a working mission. It is cared for by the people who belong to the parish, and is still being restored. There is a museum and visitors center at the mission, as well as a small cemetery.
Last updated: 05-16-2005 21:33:56