Junipero Serra Facts

Junipero Serra Facts
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. He was born Miquel Joseph Serre on November 24th, 1713, in Petra, on Majorca Island off the coast of Spain, to Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer. Miguel was working in the fields with his parents by the age of seven, and began to attend a friar's primary school. At the age of 15 Miguel was enrolled in a Franciscan school and at the age of 16 he was a Franciscan order novice. At the age of 17 Miguel entered the Friars Minor Alcantarine branch with the goal of becoming a Franciscan Order full member. He was given the name Junipero, a companion of Saint Francis. In 1737 Juniper Serra became a priest.
Interesting Junipero Serra Facts:
In 1742 Junipero Serra earned a theology doctorate from Lullian University.
In 1749 Junipero Serra traveled to Mexico with one of his former students to bring his faith to the New World.
When Junipero Serra landed in Vera Cruz, he walked to Mexico City, which was 250 miles away.
Along the journey he injured his leg, which would result in lifelong pain.
In Mexico City Junipero Serra joined a missionary school but soon volunteered for the Sierra Gorda missions.
In 1751 Junipero Serra joined to Pame Indians and began to preach to the natives.
In 1769 Junipero Serra began to head north towards California. His first mission was established in San Fernando de Velicata.
The second mission was established in San Diego. This was the first of a total of nine missions he would create in what is now known as California.
While working at the missions Junipero Serra taught the natives about faith, but had run-ins with the Spanish because of the way they treated the natives.
While Junipero Serra believed in the rights of the natives, he also believed in corporal punishment when they broke rules.
Juniper Serra died on August 28th, 1784, at Mission San Carlos. He was 70 years old. Junipero Serra was buried in the floor.
Junipero Serra is credited with concerting 4,600 Native Americans.
More than 6,700 Native Americans were baptized at the missions established by Junipero Serra by 1784.
Junipero Serra is credited with bringing Catholicism to California.
In the 1940s an effort began to have Junipero Serra canonized.
In 1988 Pope John Paul II honored Junipero Serra by declaring him 'Blessed' and beatified.
In 2015 Pope Francis visited the United States. He declared Junipero Serra a saint, during a special mass on September 23rd in Washington, D.C., at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
There are some that believe that Junipero Serra used forceful methods to convert the Native Americans to Catholicism and do not believe that he should have been made a saint.
Indian historians have noted that Junipero Serra suppressed their culture and because of his missions and his efforts to convert Native Americans to Catholicism that many died prematurely at his missions.

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