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Father Serra's biography from The Catholic Encyclopedia. Also on board were twenty Franciscan priests, one of whom was Father Junípero Serra. Serra was unfitted physically for his laborious life. The missionaries rebuilt the mission as an army fort. He was named a saint because he lived a holy life, and he did so while stuck in a corrupt institution known as Spanish colonialism. Father Junípero Serra died a beloved figure, mourned by indigenous people and Spaniards alike: a symbol of reconciliation, of hope and of the profound love he bore toward the people he strove to serve. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Born in 1713 to religious parents who worked as laborers on the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain, Father Junipero Serra (1713-1784) joined the Franciscan order and became a monk in 1730, when he was just seventeen years old. St. Junipero Serra (1713-84) is a significant name in California’s history. Likewise, the statue of St. Junípero Serra was toppled last week at Father Serra Park in Los Angeles. Everyone was welcome. Viltis Jatulis, faithful Lithuanian librarian of St. Bernardine Library at Thomas Aquinas College, once received a donation of books that had belonged to a great Catholic lady (she and her husband, and then their son and his wife, all generous benefactors). Afterwards a cup of broth was brought him which he drank quietly. Father Junípero Serra, often called the "Apostle of California," was born in Petra on the island of Mallorca (off the east coast of Spain) in 1713. The same Father Serra whom Pope John Paul II beatified in 1988 describing him as “…. His writings aren’t hard to find, and neither is he—if you want a glimpse of him today, look for him standing beside Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., witnessing first-hand a moment of great joy in what tomorrow will be history. Born in Spain, Junípero Serra first traveled to the Americas in 1749 while in his thirties, to work as a Catholic missionary in Mexico. Serra is being canonized for what he did during his life — but by Catholic standards, not humanitarian ones Junipero Serra himself, however, had no interest in creating a mestizo culture. Also the books, save only the breviary, which Palou kept for himself—sole memento of an enduring friendship. Pope John Paul II proclaimed the healing miraculous, and Junípero Serra was beatified on September 25, 1988. Most importantly, he brought thousands of natives into the fold of Holy Mother Church and therefore saved many souls. Into the vacuum created by the Jesuits' expulsion from Mexico, stepped Franciscan missionaries. Father Serra's biography from The Catholic Encyclopedia. Pope Francis and Father Junipero Serra: Sanctifying slavery and genocide In Washington, DC. Serra died in 1784. Who Was Junípero Serra? (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) In his homily for the Mass and canonization of Blessed Junípero Serra on Sept. 23, 2015, Pope Francis shared, “Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. If you need help finding the truth in this matter of Father Serra, follow the paper trail of Monsignor Francis J. Weber, archivist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Standing on the site of Serra’s former missionary headquarters, the pope reflected on the … California, The galleon Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, captained by Juan Manuel Bonilla, was saved by a miracle without which the missions may never have been founded nor a treasure buried on a deserted Caribbean Island. Educated as a friar in the Order of St. Francis, he immigrated to New Spain in 1749, where he worked as both a missionary and a university administrator. Father Junípero Serra was born Miguel José Serra in 1713 on the small Spanish island of Mallorca. Thanks to God’s mercy, this day Junipero Serra is enrolled in the canon of the Saints; there is no distance between Heaven and earth, only a thin veil, and today that veil is lifted. How many new friends awaited his coming? He improved their lives and brought them Christian civilization. Serra founded several Catholic missions to … Nevertheless, he is dying.”, One indication Serra gave that he had abandoned all thought of life: He let the doctors have their will with him. It had been his custom since he came to California to eat and drink a portion of whatever was attainable, making no parade of austerity, and expressing no preference or distaste. a shining example of Christian virtue and the missionary spirit.” Father Serra was indeed a perfect example of the missionary spirit that has pervaded the Catholic Church for centuries leaving an ongoing legacy of death and devastation throughout the world. She was carrying European goods that would be exchanged for a king’s ransom in treasure. Clasped in his arms was the wooden cross he had brought with him from the Lullian University at Parma, and from which he had never been parted. His early life. As a priest, Father Serra traveled to the New Spain colonial territory of Mexico in 1749 to devote himself to missionary work. He preached and gave everyone a detailed account of the voyage and their miraculous deliverance. Later he gained height, but was always frail in appearance and in reality. Â. He was named a saint because he lived a holy life, and he did so while stuck in a corrupt institution known as Spanish colonialism. A little store of medals which had been kept for distribution to neophytes was given away. My nutshell response: Isn’t there always? Upon perusal, Viltis found that one of the books was an old diary. On August 31, 1749, the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, owned by Captain Juan Manuel Bonilla set sail for Vera Cruz, Mexico. Father Junipero Serra and the California Missions, 1769-1784. The dead friar was buried in his one comparatively sound habit; but there was an old and ragged one which had been kept for the laudable purpose of patching its successor; and this was cut into squares like scapulars and distributed. To get a true sense of Father Serra, I always tell people to go back to his writings and see how he described the Indians. Surely Father Serra—Saint Junipero Serra—who traveled so many miles to bring the Good News to America, will gladly present these many petitions to Jesus, his best Friend and Savior, and ours. Some may find it incongruous to compare the achievements of St. Junípero Serra with those of the founding fathers. He made a general confession to Palou, he asked to be buried by the side of Crespi, and he expressed a desire to receive the viaticum in the church instead of in his cell. Father Junípero Serra in a portrait by Father Jose Mosqueda. Copy by Jose Mosqueda. To get a true sense of Father Serra, I always tell people to go back to his writings and see how he described the Indians. When the San Carlos bells tolled the death of the presidente, Indians and Mexicans left their work and swarmed to the adobe hut, bewailing their loss, and clamoring for relics of the man whom they deemed to be a saint. The soldiers and sailors were especially clamorous; “because,” says Palou, “of their larger knowledge.”. As the leader of the Spanish missionary effort in California, Junipero Serra laid the foundation for a strong Roman Catholic presence in the early American religious landscape. Hearing the lookout’s cry, those not already on deck rushed to get their first glimpse of the fabled city. Serra as Founding Father? St. Junípero Serra came to colonial Mexico in 1749 and, upon arriving in California, helped to found mission San Diego in 1769. She was carrying European goods that would be exchanged for a king’s ransom in treasure. On August 31, 1749, the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, owned by Captain Juan Manuel Bonilla set sail for Vera Cruz, Mexico. 1770. San Antonio de Padua (Jolon) 1771. Junipero Serra (1713-1784). Also on board were twenty Franciscan priests, one of whom was Father Junípero Serra. Furthermore, why did Father Junipero Serra start the missions? Now it was merely a question of undergoing needless pain before he died, and to this he submitted, remembering perhaps that there is nothing the body suffers that the soul may not profit by. On December 1, 1749, the Guadalupe was lumbering before the wind when the lookout spotted the mountain behind Veracruz, then smoke from the lime kilns south of the city. As a teenager, Serra entered the Franciscans in 1730 and after his ordination to the priesthood in 1737, he served as a professor at the Llullian University in Palma de Mallorca for a dozen years. Jesus predicted it in his incomparable discourse at the Last Supper: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you.” (John 15:18), The English Catholic convert Robert Hugh Benson, in his book The Mystical Body and Its Head, uses this verse of Our Lord’s, this fact of our similarity to Him in the world’s hatred of us, as an argument for the truth of the Catholic Faith. In 1768, at the age of 56, he founded the first mission in San Diego, California. Today, Father Serra’s legacy is everywhere in southern California. So as Jesus also said, “Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.”. 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 colonization of what is now the state of California. This was known as Mission San Diego de Alcalá and was located in present-day San Diego. Franciscan priest Father Junipero Serra founded the first mission in 1769. A statue of Father Junipero Serra stands in front of the San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California on September 23, 2015. Serra’s preparations for death were as simple as had been his manner of living. Courtesy of Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library. He was named a saint because he lived a holy life, and he did so while stuck in a corrupt institution known as Spanish colonialism. Two Jesuits had died at the hands of Indians in the revolt of 1734–6. Being medieval, he dealt habitually in extremes, and made them serve his turn. Yet the office was not the sinecure it seemed. Father Junipero Serra is the most recent target of protesters calling for the removal, and often the tearing down, of historical statues across our nation. Father Junipero Serra is known as the Father of California's Spanish missions. Viltis, a less grasping and a holier hunter-of-relics than I, contacted the donor and arranged for the diary to go where it belonged—to one of Father Serra’s beloved missions and home of the archivist Monsignor Weber, the … All rights reserved. She is the editor of Selected Sermons of Thomas Aquinas McGovern, S.J., and author of Homeschooling with Gentleness, A Little Way of Homeschooling, the Catholic romantic comedy The Paradise Project, and the forthcoming Being Catholic: What Every Catholic Should Know. 1) We do not know exactly what Saint Junípero Serra looked like, but we do know a lot about his inspiring life thanks to his many writings. It was so horrific that on the following day the crew mutinied and demanded that Bonilla run the ship ashore to save themselves. On Wednesday, Pope Francis officially canonized Father Junipero Serra, thereby making Serra a Catholic saint. Junípero Serra did not become a saint because he founded missions in California. Father Blessed Junipero Serra was ordained in Spain in 1737 as a Franciscan priest. Even when death had laid its chilling hand upon him, he drew strength from an unknown source. No rich man’s heirs were ever greedier for gold than were Serra’s friends and neophytes for anything that he had worn or used. Palou had come to San Carlos to be with his old friend to the end; and when he saw him walking in a procession, and heard him singing “Pange, lingua, gloriosi,” he said to one of the soldiers from the presidio: “The presidente is, thank God, much stronger than I thought to find him.” To which the man answered with deep conviction: “He is always strong when he sings or when he prays. Junípero Serra, They saw the sick man kneeling at the foot of the altar, they heard him intone the Tantum ergo Sacramentum, and they marveled, knowing that the end was at hand. Hackel’s new book, “Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father” (Hill and Wang) — which coincides with the 300 th anniversary of Serra’s birth — chronicles the life and legacy of the Franciscan missionary, and depicts an experience of colonization that … he asks. San Carlos Borromeo (Carmel). She was carrying European goods that would be exchanged for a king’s ransom in treasure. He became a Franciscan priest in 1730 and took the name Junipero, after a companion of St. Francis, and in … For nearly two years Father Serra refrained, and then Viceroy Majorga gave instructions to the effect that Father Serra was within his rights. Father Serra and his padres brought wine and the vines to San Diego California in 1769. Being December 4, they chose St. Barbara as it was her feast day. A statue of St. Junípero Serra in Sacramento, in a 2015 file photo. He personally founded nine of California's 21 Spanish missions and served as president of the California missions from 1767 until he died in 1784. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) In his homily for the Mass and canonization of Blessed Junípero Serra on Sept. 23, 2015, Pope Francis shared, “Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. In order to fulfill their vows to St. Barbara made days before, Father Serra held a solemn celebration in her honor. 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. The great cathedrals are not the only indications of this habit of men who dwelt in the centuries we call dark. Father Serra later became known as the Apostle of California. Father Junipero Serra and the California Missions, 1769-1784. Being Catholic: What Every Catholic Should Know, Something New with St Thérèse: Her Eucharistic Miracle, Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Thérèse, How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? He was named a saint because he lived a holy life, and he did so while stuck in a corrupt institution known as Spanish colonialism. Tagged as: Junípero Serra, the founder of the Missions, which were the first settlements of civilized man in California, was born on the island of Majorca, part of the kingdom of Spain, on the 24th of November, 1713. He had remained calm throughout the storms. It was November 4, 1879, when Robert Louis Stevenson and his future brother-in-law, Adolpho Sanchez, shared an unusual outing. During the remaining three years of his life he once more visited the missions from San Diego to San Francisco , six hundred miles, in … Hackel’s new book, “Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father” (Hill and Wang) — which coincides with the 300 th anniversary of Serra’s birth — chronicles the life and legacy of the Franciscan missionary, and depicts an experience of colonization that … 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 colonization of what is now the state of California. Of special note: “Palou,” mentioned below, is Fray Francisco Palou, Fray Junipero’s friend and first biographer, author of Relación Histórica de la Vida y Apostólicas Tareas del Venerable Padre Fray Junipero Serra, a monumental work upon which nearly all subsequent biographies have been based. Father Blessed Junipero Serra was ordained in Spain in 1737 as a Franciscan priest. Roman Catholic Religious Figure. Father Junipero Serra, OFM (1713-1784), acknowledged as the "founder of California", accomplished this by establishing the mission system. The priests elected to pick a patron saint to ask for deliverance. On the Honor Found in Suffering for Christ. He had established nine mission churches along the coast of Southern California. In 1768, he traveled north to California, and founded a string of missions stretching from San Diego to San Francisco. After the leave-taking of these kind and well-mannered gentlemen, Palou remained alone with Serra, who lay quiet for a long time. Biden and Pelosi were “on the wrong side of history” just five years ago, what with paying homage to St. Junípero Serra, the apostle of California, when the Holy Father visited the U.S. Stevenson was brought to tears, as he had never witnessed such reverence and devotion. Most importantly, he brought thousands of natives into the fold of Holy Mother Church and therefore saved many souls. "Two things. They have not disappeared; historical facts are not so easily dismissed…. Catholic Church stands by Father Junípero Serra, as his statue is torn down in Los Angeles by anti-racism protesters. St. Junípero Serra, (born November 24, 1713, Petra, Majorca, Spain—died August 28, 1784, Carmel, California, New Spain [now in U.S.]; canonized September 23, 2015; feast day August 28 (July 1 in the U.S.)), Spanish Franciscan priest whose missionary work among the Indians of North America earned him the title of Apostle of California. Blessed Junípero Serra's canonization is less about miracles and more about personal holiness, according to Father Weber. A puny and delicate boy, he was so undersized that, as a novice, he could not read at the choristers’ desk, and was employed in serving Mass. Besides the numerous statues of him throughout that part of the state, there is also one in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. The body was placed on a bier in the church, covered with the well-loved rosas de Castilla, and guarded day and night to protect it from the relic hunters, who nevertheless contrived to carry away many snippets from the habit, and even a few locks of the white hair which still fringed the tonsure. Biden and Pelosi were “on the wrong side of history” just five years ago, what with paying homage to St. Junípero Serra, the apostle of California, when the Holy Father visited the U.S. They are literally out for the saint’s head throughout California. He was sent to Mexico City in 1750. Early Zeal. And a further detail about one of these coveted relics. Serra had made his fight as long as there was work to be done. The wooden cross was laid under the dead man’s hands in his coffin, and buried with him. Tuberculosis . Missions founded by Junípero Serra. Generations of American schoolchildren have been taught to think of Father Junípero Serra as California’s benevolent founding father, a humble Franciscan monk who left … A previous Photo of the Week selection. The pumps could no longer keep up with the water and everyone despaired except one thirty-six-year-old, short, swarthy priest with black eyes and a scarce beard named Father Junípero Serra. Santa Barbara’s Mission was founded on December 4th, 1786, two years after Serra … Suzie Andres, a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and the University of Notre Dame, lives and writes in sunny Southern California. This became Father Serra’s favorite mission where he spent the last fourteen years of his life. Junípero Serra, the founder of the Missions, which were the first settlements of civilized man in California, was born on the island of Majorca, part of the kingdom of Spain, on the 24th of November, 1713. Soon, the spires of the cathedral and the Convent of San Francisco came into view, followed by the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa and the stone walls that fortified the city. O n this golden island, California is the news that stayed news over the centuries, and Junipero Serra, founder of the Spanish missions from San Diego to San Francisco, is … The CCCB argued that Serra was “a man ahead of his times” because he made sacrifices to protect indigenous peoples from colonial abuse. Junípero Serra did not become a saint because he founded missions in California. the native peoples to whom he ministered in the 1769. The two took a buggy ride from Monterey to the mission church of St. Charles Borroméo in Carmel. 3) He lived during a time very different from our own. Once a year, on November 4th, Father Angelo Delfino Casanova traveled to Carmel from his parish in Monterey to say mass within the ruined walls of the mission, celebrating the feast day of San Carlos. Fray Junípero Serra. Some of the aged Indians, remnants of Father Serra’s flock, would raise their voices in reverent song, reciting perfect Latin, which brought Stevenson to comment later, “There you may hear God served with perhaps more touching circumstances than any other temple under heaven…”Â. Those who knew him remembered his zeal for God, his self denial, and the absolute love and trust he had for God. In 1785, Father Palou was recalled to Mexico, where he died about 1789. As the familiar invocations fell upon Serra’s ears, fear faded away. Junipero Serra spent his early career as a Franciscan educator in Palma, Spain. Junípero Serra was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco. Also on board were twenty Franciscan priests, one of whom was Father Junípero Serra. He had asthma and a chronic sore on his leg that troubled him for the rest of his life. The cauterization, says Palou, was of no benefit to the patient, but left him weak and weary…, It was an inestimable comfort to Serra that Palou who, although much younger, had been his close and dear friend, had come hurriedly from San Francisco to bear him company in the last weeks of his life… Palou told Serra that he would not remain in California, but was going back to San Fernando to write the Relación Histórica and the Noticias for which he had been sedulously collecting material. The grape he brought is known to us as the Mission Grape. Then suddenly he said in a troubled voice: “I have come under the shadow of fear. Sources. He had the qualities of those emotional, penitential and migratory years, when endurance was the keynote of existence, and when the love of life was balanced by the honor paid to death. His Early Life. He found him employed in cutting out garments for the children, and asked leave to cauterize the ulcerated chest. Serra received them with courtesy, ordered the bells to be rung in their honor, and bade them tell him of Peru, from which country they had recently returned. The two friends knew that, in Fray Fermín Francisco Lasuén, Serra would have a worthy successor…. This time he was not repulsed. “Now I shall rest,” he said, and Palou left him to see that the visitors were properly entertained. "What did Jesus tell us to do?" Unhappily for his remaining days, a transport, summoned, it is said, by Palou, arrived from San Francisco, and the ship’s surgeon hastened to the sick man’s side. No one knows of his historic bond with a Spanish galleon and buried treasure. Behold Father Serra in Heaven, but he is looking down kindly, desiring more than ever to show God’s great love to us. To get a true sense of Father Serra, I always tell people to go back to his writings and see how he described the Indians. At the time of his death, he … He was in his thirties when he heeded the call to become a missionary. Catholic missionary. Viltis, a less grasping and a holier hunter-of-relics than I, contacted the donor and arranged for the diary to go where it belonged—to one of Father Serra’s beloved missions and home of the archivist Monsignor Weber, the San Fernando Mission. 190 Th ourna a ieg istory circumstances had conspired to prevent him from engaging in what he regarded as genuine missionary activity. They had heard of his illness, and had hurried over the five miles to see him before he died. For two days, the ship was dashed about by towering waves. Jesuit priests had developed 13 missions on that long and arid peninsula over seven decades. As a teenager, Serra entered the Franciscans in 1730 and after his ordination to the priesthood in 1737, he served as a professor at the Llullian University in Palma de Mallorca for a dozen years. In late June, this movement hit close to home in Ventura. Her latest books, Something New with St Thérèse: Her Eucharistic Miracle and Stations of the Cross with Our Sister St. Thérèse, are available in free ebook versions (along with her novel and a Vietnamese-English edition of the Stations, as well as a Spanish-English edition) at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and on her website, suzieandres.com, where you can also find her blog, “Miss Marcel’s Musings,” and links to her books, online articles, and book lists for all ages. Ventura Removes Controversial Junipero Serra Statue Following Protest By CBSLA Staff July 23, 2020 at 7:22 am Filed Under: Father Junipero Serra , Junipero Serra statue , Junipero Serra … Stevenson learned that Father Casanova was trying to raise funds for the preservation of the mission, charging ten cents a person to those who came to visit. The last night brought little sleep to the sufferer; but at dawn there came to his bedside two old friends, Captain José Canizares, who commanded a frigate that had just anchored at Monterey, and the ship’s chaplain, Don Cristóbal Díaz. On Wednesday, Pope Francis and Father Junipero Serra as a priest, Father Serra and the love! Statue of St. Junípero Serra, missions nine mission churches along the coast of Southern California laid the... Hardly perfect institutions in 1769 Charles Borremeo 1749 and, upon arriving in California, and with! 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