VIZCAINO, Fr. Juan
VIZCAINO, Fr. Juan (fl. 1760s-1770s), Franciscan priest with Fr. Francisco Gomez aboard the San Antonio under the command of Juan Perez on Portola’s Sacred Expedition to Alta California (1769-1770). An incident on March 29, 1769, whereby Vizcaino accidentally left his wood walking staff topped with an iron cross on Santa Cruz Island only to have the Indians return it to him the next day is credited with the naming of Santa Cruz Island. “…Leaving San Pedro the ship turned north and apparently passed Santa Barbara Island and the rocky islets comprising Anacapa and then put into Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz. It was in the latter place that Fr. Vizcaino went ashore and got his feet wet. At this place he forgot his friar’s staff which was later returned, and from which incident he gave to the island the name La Isla de la Santa Cruz.” Fr. Vizcaino assisted Fr. Junipero Serra in the founding of Mission San Diego on July 16, 1769, after which he left Alta California for the mainland of Mexico.
» Bolton, H. E., ed. Historical Memoirs of New California by Father Palou (1926)