March 19th marks the feast of Saint Joseph and the return of the swallows
to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. The Mission dates back to 1776 as
the seventh in a chain of 21 Missions built by the Spanish in what they
considered to be the new Spain.
San Juan Capistrano is a lovely town located midway between Los Angeles
town for the fiesta and to watch the sky fill with the returning swallows. The
little Serra Chapel is one of the few original missions still standing and the wall of
bells (each bell is named) date back to 1804.
It is regarded as one of the beautiful miracles and mysteries of nature
that every year the birds return from winter in Goya, Argentina six thousand miles
The Mission was named for Giovanni de Capistrano, an Italian priest, by
Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan order. The feast of Saint Joseph is a day of celebration marking the return of the swallows, rebirth, renewal and the beginning of spring.
In San Jaun Capistrano the day is markedwith the ringing of the mission bells, mariachi music, a fiesta spirit and the swallows.