On the front of the Church of San Francisco are 16 vaulted niches. All but two contain a statue of a saint or celebrated Franciscan friar. This appears to be the image of Didacus of Alcalá, also called Diego de San Nicolás or simply San Diego. He was a 15th century missionary in the Canary Islands after they were conquered by Spain. In 1769, this Catholic saint became the namesake for Mission San Diego de Alcalá. This was the first Franciscan mission established in a providence of New Spain now called San Diego, California.