Mission Santa Clara de Assisi was founded in 1777. Through the combined efforts of the Poor Catholic Friars and the naturally poor Native Americans, twenty one missions were established in California. One hundred and forty-six Franciscan Priests without any worldly compensation devoted themselves to the task of raising the natives to a plane of Christian dignity. Among those who volunteered for this life of hardship and self-denial was Fr. Magin Catala. This servant of God was born on Jan. 30, 1761 at Montblanch in the Province of Catalonia, Spain. At the age of sixteen, he entered the order of Friars Minor, by taking the habit of St. Francis at the monastery of Barcelona, on April 4, 1777. He was ordained a priest in 1785. Life in the Indian missions at its best was wearisome and full of trials. It took a very virtuous man to persevere, as was also the case with Fr. Jumipero Serra, Fr. Catala's predecessor. Even martyrdom could be expected. Fr. Catala arrived at Mission Santa Clara de Assisi in July 1794. In 1797, he was given charge of the mission. He served his priestly duties there for 36 years. He died Nov. 22, 1830 and is buried in the mission church. Many miracles happened during his life and after his death through his intercession. He had the gift of Prophecy, Bilocation, and had power over evil spirits. He had an extraordinary love for Christ Crucified, and a tender devotion for our Blessed Mother and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

This beautiful mission is under the special care of the Jesuit Fathers, located on campus, at the University of Santa Clara.
© Authored by the Prayer Group for the Canonization of Fr. Magin Catala.

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