Santa Gracia

Son #2 took a break from his patients and patiently took his dad and me on what his GPS said was a seven-hour road trip to Carlsbad, California.

Knowing his dad to be a history buff, he said we’d drop by the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa mission (founded 1772) along the way. It was going to be our second tour of an old Spanish mission, the first being San Juan Bautista (founded in 1797) during our vacation in California about this time last year.

The red clay roof tiles we see all over California today were first made at the San Luis Obispo mission. Going through the photos and artifacts in the museum, we went back over 200 years.

This was how Christianity was brought to California and how the American Indians were converted and therefore called Mission Indians.

The tour took an hour, with plenty enough time to get to Carlsbad before supper.

But we were assaulted by bad traffic in some areas.  The better for me to enjoy the breathtaking scenery: beaches, forests, valleys, plains, deserts, farms, landscaped cities, and mountains so high we were up in the clouds, making one think of having reached heaven.

We passed along many santa places: Santa Barbara, Santa Paula, Santa Clara, Santa Fe, Santa Monica, Santa Ana, Santa Gertrudez, and because we were still a long way to our destination, I counted myself in—Santa Gracia.

And why not? I mulled over the Bible’s definition of saints.

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 2-3 KJV), “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

Indeed all female believers are santas, just as male believers are santos.  

All told, our road trip took 14 hours instead of seven—more than the length of a plane ride from the Philippines to San Francisco.

Although the travel was overly long, the joy was overly longer.

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