The Swallows of San Juan Capistrano

There is the promise of Proverbs 22:6, which states, "Train a child in the way they should go and they will of depart from it."  This promise is wonderful illustrated in the story of the Swallows return to this particular place every year.  The miracle of the "Swallows" of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day.  As the little birds wing their way back to the most famous Mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and the visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the "miracle" of the return of the swallows.   Each year the "Scout Swallows" precede the main flock by a few days and it seems to be their chief duty to clear the way for the main flock to arrive at the "Old Mission" of Capistrano.  With the arrival of early dawn on St. Joseph’s Day, the little birds begin to arrive and begin rebuilding their mud nests, which are clinging to the ruins of the old stone church of San Juan Capistrano.    This Chapel, said to be the largest and most ornate in any of the missions, now has a more humble destiny.  After the summer spent within the sheltered walls of the Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano, the swallows take flight again, and on the Day of San Juan, October 23, they leave after circling the Mission bidding farewell to the Mission.   This illustrates wonderfully the promise of God working on the hearts of the wayward pilgrim.  He will call them back.  As the swallows return so by God`s grace shall those who were trained and mentored as children the ways of God.