- December 14, 1817
- Originally a hospital asistencia.
- The mission Chapel is used for special events and is part of the parish of St. Rafael of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco.
- San Rafael Archangel was founded as a hospital asistencia (sub-mission) on December 14, 1817, and given full mission status on October 19, 1822. A replica of the original chapel was built in 1919, close to Parish church of Saint Raphael. The gift shop/museum has several interesting artifacts.
1104 5th Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901
- 415-456-3016 (Mission/gift shop)
- 415-454-8141 (Parish)
9:00AM to 10:00PM
No admission fee, donations appreciated
Primarily self-guided. Allow an hour to explore this site. In addition to the Mission chapel and the gift shop / museum, the Parish Church is inviting.
6:30 a.m. (English) in the Mission
8:30 a.m. (English) in the Mission
8:30 a.m. (English) Parish Church
5:00 p.m. - Sunday Vigil (English) Parish Church
7:30 a.m. (English) Parish Church
9:00 a.m. (English) Parish Church
9:00 a.m. (Vietnamese) in the Mission
10:30 a.m. (English) Parish Church
12:00 noon (Spanish) Parish Church
6:00 p.m. (Brazilian) In the Mission
7:00 p.m. (Spanish) Parish Church
Weddings and Other Special Services
Information available at the Parish office.
The charming replica of Mission San Rafelc, built in 1949, has a distinctive star window, said to be patterned after the mudéjar style window at San Carlos Borromeo.
There is a bell rack in front of the church, similar to those initially used at most of the missions in their early days. San Rafael was only a full mission for fourteen years before it was secularized in 1834 and never had a bell tower.
The imposing Parish Church has a large bronze sculpture of Saint Rafael holding up a cross on the front facade of the church.
Tips for Visitors
Visit the mission gift shop, which also serves as a museum. While the space is tight there is a painting of Saint Rafael and several original artifacts you will want to see.
While the interior of the mission chapel is modern, the quality of the work is exceptionally fine. The wrought iron chandeliers are patterned after mission-era originals.
There is a statue of Fr. Junípero Serra on the Fifth Street side of the mission chapel, visible from the sidewalk.
The mission water came from several springs and a stream on the hill behind the parish complex. This is still the primary source of water for the city of San Rafael. You can see this hill and get the best view of both the Parish Church and the Mission Chapel from across the street.
Other area attractions
Some visitors combine a stop at Mission San Rafael with an extended visit to the historic town of Sonoma, where Mission San Francisco Solana and the restored mission-era Soldiers Barracks area located on the historic town square. Allow a full day.