Fray Junipero Serra


Miquel Joseph Serra was born and baptized on November 24, 1713 in Petra, a farming village on the island of Mallorca, Spain. As a child he attended a Franciscan elementary school. At the age of fifteen, Serra left home to enter the Franciscan University in Palma to study philosophy. When Serra was sixteen, he decided to join the Franciscan Order.
After years of preparation and careful consideration of his vocation, Serra received his Franciscan habit in 1730 and took the name Junipero which meant Jester of God. He chose the religious name Junipero, after a companion of Saint Francis of Assisi who was simple, sincere, and good-natured man. When the original Junipero was condemned by ...

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he responded to the call for Franciscan missionaries to the New World. His dream became a reality. He left his family and friends and sailed off to a "New World."
Nearly 200 years earlier, Spain had established a colony called New Spain, the region known today as Mexico. Successful colonization was the result of collaboration by Spanish imperial staff and the Catholic Church. Acting as partners in efforts of exploration and settlement, both their purposes were achieved: Spain claimed a new territory and the Catholic Church claimed new members.
By the middle of the 18th century, Spanish cultural and religious influence was already evident in New Spain's great cathedral, schools, hospitals, and seaports. This sophisticated civilization was restricted to urban centers such as Mexico City. The outlying areas were unexplored and regarded as missionary territory.
Serra landed in the port city of Vera Cruz when he was thirty-six and then traveled by foot to Mexico City to dedicate ...

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his own direction. He joined the expedition of Don Gaspar de Portola and received orders to explore and occupy new territory. He was commissioned by the King to lead the Franciscans into Alta California (present day California). Father Serra traveled across the border to Alta California on July 1, 1769 and established his first mission, San Diego de Alcala, that same month. Serra's blessing of the side of Mission San Diego marked the beginning of the European settlement of California. It was there where Serra planted the cross and dedicated the first mission. He then began a journey by sea on the San Antonio to what he called present-day Monterey, a "pleasing stretch of land." This ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/25/2005 05:04:31 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2329
Pages: 9

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