In 2015 he became the first saint of the Roman Catholic Church to be canonized in the United States. Junipero Serra, dead since 1784, has become a hot topic as Washington, where I live and work, prepares for Pope Francis’s visit. As the father of California’s mission system, he’s probably the most widely known figure from the pre-Gold Rush era. Before he finally set sail for the New World, he wrote a letter to his college requesting them to console his parents as he was their only son. There too he converted large number of Indians and improved their living conditions. In observance of Thanksgiving, our office will be closed Thursday, . Junipero Serra (1713-1784) A priest in the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, Junipero Serra was a driving force in the Spanish conquest and … He was a brilliant student and could have led a comfortable life by teaching at the Franciscan colleges. The head of the Catholic Church is set to canonize the Spanish Franciscan here on September 23, and news of his impending sainthood has sparked an onslaught of Serra think pieces. Junipero Serra: California's Founding Father is a detailed account of the life of Junipero Serra, the Franciscan missionary responsible for a great deal of the founding of the series of missions which became the backbone of Spanish colonization in California. There he worked for eight years in different capacities. His Early Life. He improved their lives and brought them Christian civilization. Book Mobile. In March 1768. Most importantly, he brought thousands of natives into the fold of Holy Mother Church and therefore saved many souls. Junípero Serra, the saint whom the Church remembers today (July 1) on her liturgical calendar, certainly suffered persecution in his lifetime, and has become an object of scorn due to a false narrative about the Church’s missionary efforts in the New World. Junipero Serra was born Miquel Josep Serra i Ferrer. St. Junípero Serra (1713-1784) was a Spanish friar and missionary who was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015. He was born into humble origins on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Besides, he was required to make a vow of celibacy and also of scorning property and comfort. Junípero Serra High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Gardena, California, a suburban city located 14 miles southwest from downtown Los Angeles. In fourth grade, I completed what is known among California’s public-school students simply as the Mission Project. Later, he went to California and set up a string of missions there. Established in 2012, our location on Junipero Serra Blvd welcomes children ages 2 to 6 and offers both part-time and full-time child care and preschool options. However, he maintained strict discipline and offenders were physically punished. Finally, he was canonized by Pope Francis on September 23, 2015. As he had good voice, he was often asked to join the choirs. It’d be a silly mascot if they weren’t so damn good at sports. The soldiers had come here with their families and very soon, they not only began to claim land, but also decided to build a township, to which the Pame Indians objected. As a California kid, his legacy shaped portions of my upbringing. The statue of St. Junipero Serra is the latest to be either defaced or forcibly removed by people protesting against monuments that depict the country's colonial and racist past. Junípero Serra spent his next 15 years in, what is now called California, converting Indians and building up missions. Picking them out became a car game on trips south down Highway 101. Fr. At the same time, another group landed there by sea. While the men began to work in the fields under his supervision, he taught the women how to spin. Quick Facts Name Junipero Serra Occupation Missionary, Saint Birth Date c. November 24, 1713 Death Date c. August 28, 1784 Place of Birth Majorca, Spain He was born Miquel Joseph Serre on November 24 th , 1713, in Petra, on Majorca Island off the coast of Spain, to Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer. statue of father junipero serra (1713-1784) in the grounds of mission san gabriel. The problem was ultimately solved by interference of the Viceroy. Serra and his companions left by sea for Baja California and reached Loreto two weeks later. The army, sent for his protection, also wanted to leave. Junipero Serra, like many religious people, genuinely believed he knew the path to salvation and eternal life—and that was something he dedicated much of his adult life to sharing with Californians. In 1740, he received his ecclesiastical license to teach and started teaching philosophy at the Convento de San Francisco. Often, those drives ended in Carmel-by-the-Sea, an idyllic coastal town near Monterey, where my mother frequently worked. There he founded Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá on May 14 in mud church. Junípero Serra came to colonial Mexico in 1749 and, upon arriving in California, helped to found mission San Diego in 1769. On the flip side, he did not allow converted Indians to leave, but had them pursued by the Spanish soldiers, who had come here to secure the region for Spain. Learn more about Serra’s life and work. He had livestock and agricultural tools brought from Mexican City. But, he chose to go on a mission to Mexico, then known as New Spain and preach among the Indians. Moreover, he did not allow the converted Indians to mix with non-converts lest they went back to their old ways. In 1768, Serra became head of the missionaries in Baja California, and started the first and only Franciscan mission there. Though my family isn’t Catholic, I attended an all-girls parochial school a couple of towns over (I drove to class on the El Camino, incidentally) whose “brother” school bears Junipero Serra’s name. Enjoy a picnic or a hike. As arranged, an advance party left without him. The mission sided with the Pames. Yet, Junípero Serra did not budge. × Welcome All, We extend a warm welcome to all members of our parish family as well as newcomers. The canonization of Junipero Serra was not, of course, without its share of controversy. He arrived at San Diego on July 1, 1769 after 900 miles of difficult trek. His student, Francisco Palóu, accompanied him as his assistant. In Baja California, he started converting Indians to Christianity and also tried to improve their financial condition by introducing agriculture. During that time, he believed himself to be fulfilling the will of God by bringing the gospel to peoples in California who had not yet heard it. Most of the factual information and images for this biography were obtained from the book, Junípero Serra's Legacy, by Morton J. Morgado.Unfortunately, this fine book is out of print, but is still available online as a used book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.. Additional information on Father Serra was obtained from the Catholic Encyclopedia Web site. Saint Junipero Serra was a friend and dedicated father to the natives. Indians too became friendly and many converted to Christianity. Today, Serra is considered Patron Saint of California and of the Hispanic Americans. While some members of California Indian tribes attended the canonization ceremonies and praised Serra’s works among their people’s ancestors, others did not hold such positive sentiments. There he was enrolled at a school run by the Franciscan order. Born at Petra, Majorca, Spain, November 24, 1713, a son of Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer who spent their lives as farmers, Junípero Serra was baptized on the same day at St. Peter’s Church and was given the name Miguel José. Both the groups had a difficult journey. Some estimates suggest Serra and the other Spaniards brought with them diseases that destroyed 90 percent of the indigenous population. The organization exists in order for the school and community to come together for the benefit of our children. Although they too were offered horses Junípero Serra preferred to walk because Saint Francis of Assisi had forbidden the use of horses unless one is infirm. It also happens to be Serra’s final resting place. Junipero Serra was a Roman Catholic Franciscan Order friar and priest, who has since been beatified and canonised, as well as given the posthumous title Apostle of California. By and by, he began to have trouble with these soldiers too. 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