A Mission Visit

Santa Clara HistoricalStefan finds his peace – temporarily.

First day of training over and jet lag kicking in. Ronny and I had already done the certifications planned for the evening, so we decided to drive up to the University of Santa Clara to visit the Mission of Santa Clara de Asís.

The mission / station was founded by Spanish Franciscan monks back in 1777 – the station’s patron Saint Claire has not only given her name to the station, but to the entire city – but nothing remains of that time, as the station had been destroyed and rebuilt six times. Talk of persistence, anyone? The oldest remains are a mud brick wall framing the former olive garden and the refectory.

Over time, the mission has grown to become the University of Santa Clara, and so the refectory is not a refectory any longer, but an office building. And where Olive trees once gave oil and fruit to the first colonists, Olive trees still can be found, but quite a tiny observatory as well.

Silicon Valley is somewhat a noisy, hectic place. Things roll fast here. Training exercises, commuting traffic, restaurant service. Time to market seems to be everything. The more I was very surprised about the peace and silence governing the university’s campus. I was so impressed I forgot to take a picture of the church – instead I stole a photo from here (Picture courtesy of JaGa)

Side note regarding male history-writing: Saint Claire of Assisi is often referred to as co-foundress of the Franciscan order and depicted with a ostensory in her hands, this due to the legend that she countered a Saracene’s attack in 1240 by standing and holding up the Blessed Sacrament, a brave, but also a bit risky plan. The plan went so well she did the same thing two years later when Frederick II – in desperate need of cash – wanted to plunder Assisi. (A sign of bad taste on the Emperor’s behalf, by the way: One does not sack the city where one was baptised in.) Nevertheless the venture payed out a second time, because Saint Claire did not die on that day, but peacefully amongst her sisters of the Order of the Poor Ladies (today: Order of Saint Clare) in 1253.

And that was her real achievement: She was the first woman to found a religious order for women, and she wrote an entire ruleset for them, too.

One thought on “A Mission Visit

  1. Love that place, spent a month at Santa Clara University in 2001 as part of my eMBA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s