Dona Polonia


Dona Polonia Montanez (1827-1917) took on the responsibility of caring for the spiritual needs of the children of the community during a period time when there was not a priest in residency at the mission. She was one of four midwives in the small San Juan Capistrano Community. She is most famous for her teachings and the time she spent with the children. According to her legend, there had been a drought here in San Juan Capistrano. Polonia instructed the children that if they would make a spiritual trek and pray, it would rain. The first day, she and the children made their trek to Dana Point; and of course it did not rain. The second day, they went north east into Trabuco canyon; and, again, it did not rain. On the third day, she and the children sang and prayed while they walked south to Capistrano Beach. While praying on the beach, they noticed the clouds and it began to rain; it rained so hard the mission records tell us three wagons were sent down to the beach to rescue Polonia and the children. This being only part of the legend she leaves behind. Her commitment to the children, her community, and the teachings of the mission make her a jewel in a city rich in California history.



Story and image supplied by Capistrano Cornerstone, Inc.

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