"Junípero Serra y Ferrer (1713–1784) was a Roman Catholic Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco," notes Wikipedia, "in what was then Alta California in the Province of Las Californias in New Spain.
"He began in San Diego on July 16, 1769, and established his headquarters near the Presidio of Monterey, but soon moved a few miles south to establish Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in today's Carmel, California.
"The missions were primarily designed to bring the Catholic faith to the native peoples. Other aims were to integrate the neophytes into Spanish society, and to train them to take over ownership and management of the land. As head of the order in California, Serra not only dealt with church officials, but also with Spanish officials in Mexico City and with the local military officers who commanded the nearby presidio (garrison).
"Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, and canonized by Pope Francis on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during that pope's first visit to the United States; it was the first canonization ceremony to be held in the country. The declaration of Serra as a Catholic saint by the Holy See was controversial with some Native Americans who criticize Serra's treatment of their ancestors and associate him with the suppression of their culture."
This Father Serra sculpture was photographed at Mission San Jose.
Keywords:California Missions, Father Junipero Serra y Ferrer, Father Serra, Father of California Missions, Las Californias, New Spain, Roman Catholic, Spanish Franciscan
© Glenn Thomas Franco Simmons