Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo
MARION A. HABIG, O.F.M.*
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, IS THE ONLY CITY IN THE AMERICAS THAT HAS
five old Spanish missions within its metropolitan area.' Mission
San Antonio de Valero, the present Alamo, was officially founded on
May 1, 1718. Less than two years later, on February 23, 1720, Mission
San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo was established a short distance
to the south. On March 5, 1731, three missions which had been located
in East Texas in 1716 were re-established on the banks of the San
Antonio River: Mission Concepci6n between San Antonio de Valero
and San Jose, and missions San Juan Capistrano and San Francisco
de la Espada below San Jos.
Missions San Antonio de Valero and San Jose are now state parks
or state historic sites. San Jose is also a national historic site-the
only one of the old Spanish missions in our country that has been so
designated. The aqueduct of San Francisco de la Espada Mission has
been declared a national historic landmark.
By a happy coincidence, the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary
of the founding of Mission San Antonio, which is being observed this
year, provides a special reason for presenting a summary of the his-
tory of Mission San Jose at the present time: this is the two hundredth
anniversary of the laying of the first stones of the present restored
church of San Jose, which took place on March 19, 1768.8
*Father Habig is the author of a number of historical studies, including Heroes of the
Cross, An American Martyrology and Man of Greatness, Father Junipero Serra.
'A sixth mission, San Francisco Xavier de Nijera, founded for Rancheria Grande Indian
Chief Juan Rodriguez and his followers on March 12, 1722, near the later site of Nuestra
Sefiora de la Purisima Concepci6n de Acufia Mission, was merged with San Antonio de
Valero Mission in 1726. Carlos E. Castafieda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1519-z936
(7 vols.; Austin, 1936-1958), II, 159-167.
sIn East Texas the names of these three missions were Nuestra Sefiora de la Purisima
Concepci6n de los Ainais, San Jos6 de los Nazonis, and San Francisco de los Neches.
They were "moved," first to the Colorado River by July 27, 1730, and then to the San
Antonio River. Castafieda says they were established on the San Antonio River by May
4, 1731, ibid., II, 238-243; but on the title page of Mission Concepci6n's marriage record
is the date March 5, 1731. Marriage Record of Mission Concepci6n (Archives, San Fer-
nando Cathedral, San Antonio). The name of the East Texas San Jos6 Mission was
changed to San Juan Capistrano.
8The summary presented here is to some extent a digest of the writer's book manu-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed September 2, 2015.