St Junípero Serra (1713 – 1784) was born in Petra, Spain. At 17, he joined the Franciscans, was later appointed Lecturer of Philosophy and then ordained a Catholic Priest. Afterwards, he continued his studies at Lullian University and gained a Doctorate in Theology. He was considered intellectually brilliant by his peers.
At 35, St Junípero left his academic life to fulfil his lifelong dream and joined the missions. Having been appointed Superior of a group of 15 Franciscans, they set out for the Indian Missions of Baja California. Their primary task was to convert the local Indian people.
St Junípero learnt their language, translated the catechism and soon founded a series of other missions across California. Pope John Paul said at his beatification, “Fr Serra led the native peoples to Christ …” and on the way, “He had to admonish the powerful … so not to abuse and exploit the poor and the weak”.
St Junípero’s Feast Day is the 1st July. He is the Patron Saint of California, Hispanic Americans and religious vocations.
St Junípero Serra:
Pray for us that we will pass the Gospel message to our family and take the time to help them understand.
Glory be to the…