While on our way to the Mission San Juan Capistrano, we passed by a beautiful church, the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano.
The basilica is a church building of the Roman Catholic Church in San Juan Capistrano and part of the Diocese of Orange. The church isn’t as old as it might look; it opened in 1986. However, it was designed after the Mission’s original stone church, which was destroyed in an 1812 earthquake. The church was granted the status of minor basilica in 2000, and that of national shrine in 2003.
Carefully opening the door, we found the weekly Liturgy and Homily celebrated in Spanish.
The prominent feature of the basilica is the Grand Retablo, a 42-foot-high (13 m), 30-foot-wide (9.1 m), 16-ton altar-backing carved in cedar and covered in gold leaf.
The retablo’s focal point is the Trinity, composed of the crucifix, God the Father depicted as an ancient patriarch, and the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove. Beneath the Trinity is Our Lady of Guadalupe. Four saints included on the retablo are Saint Francis of Assisi – patron of the mission’s founding order, Saint Joseph, Blessed Junípero Serra – the mission’s founder, and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha – significant for the area’s Indian population.
The basilica is located on 31520 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano and really easy to find, it’s just northwest of Mission San Juan Capistrano.