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José Viader

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Born at Gallimes, Catalonia, 27 August, 1765. He received the habit of St. Francis at Barcelona in May 1788, joined the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico in 1795, and was sent to California in the following year. Appointed assistant at the Indian mission of Santa Clara, he served there steadily until 1833, when he returned to Spain by way of Mexico and Cuba. For thirty-three years Father Viader was the faithful companion of the saintly Father Magin Catalá. As such he fearlessly resisted the encroachments of the military and colonists, carried on the correspondence, and drew up the reports, which Father Catala countersigned. Hence it is that numerous letters of Father Viader concerning Mission Santa Clara still exist, whereas not one has thus far been discovered written by Father Catala. Father José, albeit an exemplary religious, knew how to make use of his great physical strength and courage. On one occasion three Indians suddenly fell upon him, but he defeated them all, and they became his best friends. In 1818 he accompanied the presidente of Misión San José to San Francisco and San Rafael; but otherwise he never left his Indians for any length of time. Like nearly all the missionaries, he in 1826 declined to take the oath of allegiance to the so-called Republic of Mexico.

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