After loosing my wife of 27 years to cancer, I asked my Priest if it was crazy to think of taking my wife's ashes, picture and rosary on a pilgrimage to all 21 of the California Missions. He thought it was a great idea, so off I went, broken hearted and all ( A side note: I cried fiercely in every Mission, but no one bothered me. I was left to pray and grieve, sort of beautiful).
Mission San Antonio De Padua is the perfect place to go and remember a lost wife. It is the place Father Junipero Sara performed the first marriage ever done in what would become the western United States. It is set in a peaceful, reflection inspiring countryside that whispers ever presently "the past was beautiful, the present is beautiful, and the future is likely to be beautiful also".
I prayed my wife's rosary, walked the grounds, and spent the afternoon thinking of Linda and all the people who came before us and a little of those who would come after us. This mission is one of my most favorites (it is hard to beat Carmel or San Diego) because it is most like a window on time. Even the dirt parking lot is full of history. It is next to the weathered remains of original adobe.
I do not think one gets any extra treasure in Heaven for visiting a mission. But I find true pleasure in being at this Mission while thinking of my wife. I even bought a special high dollar rosary in the, way better than normal, gift shop to remember her by.
I am not big on praying to the Saints, so I am not trying to promote it here. Yet Saint Anthony is said to be the patron Saint of those who have lost stuff. The loss of my wife still crushes me, but I find my love for her growing more and more with the help of this Mission. Thanks to all who make that possible.