10 Interesting Facts about Junipero Serra

Facts about Junipero Serra will give you information about a Franciscan friar who founded the California missions. He was born on November 24, 1713 in the village of Petra, Majorca, Spain. Serra was baptized a few hours after birth in the village church and Miquel Joseph Serra was his baptismal name. There are still many information about him that will be explained below.

Facts about Junipero Serra 1: Family

Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer are Junipero Serra’s parents. They were married in 1707. Besides, they worked in the land in Petra, by cultivating wheat and beans.

Facts about Junipero Serra 2: Early life

Serra helped his parents to work in the land and tend the cattle when he was seven years old. He also loved to visit the local Franciscan friary at the San Bernardino church. He learned writing, reading, religion, Latin, mathematic, and liturgical song at a local primary school at the church which was taught by Franciscan friar. He also took the vocal music and joined the community choir.

Junipero Serra
Junipero Serra

Facts about Junipero Serra 3: Education

Miguel Jose Serra studied philosophy and theology at the Franciscan school in the Palma de Majorca and lived at the Cathedral. Then, he became a novice on September 1730 at the Convento de Jesus in the order of Franciscan. After a year later, he took the name of Junipero and join of St. Francis.

Facts about Junipero Serra 4: A famous teacher

After studying at the Franciscan university in Palma, Serra also became a teacher. His students usually called him “Dr. Serra, or Dr. Junipero”. He worked as teacher or professor from 1744 to 1749 after received a doctorate.

Facts about Junipero Serra 5: The missionaries to Mexico City

The missionaries to Mexico City made Serra’s legs became swollen and blistered. It was because horses or mules could not pass the way from Vera Cruz to Mexico City. That’s why he walked to go to Mexico.

Facts about Junipero Serra 6: Pope John Paul II

On September 25, 1988 Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Vatican City and canonized by
Pope Francis on September 23, 2015 in the Washington, D.C.

Facts about Junipero Serra 7: President of the California missions

Serra established nine missions in Alta California from 1769 to 1782. He also became a president of the California missions.

Facts about Junipero Serra 8: Nine California missions

Here are nine California missions: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala (July 16, 1769); Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (June 3, 1770); Mission San Antonio de Padua (July 14, 1771); Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (September 8, 1771); Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (September 1, 1772); Mission San Juan Capistrano (November 1, 1776); Mission San Francisco de Asis (June 29, 1776); Mission Santa Clara de Asis (January 12, 1777); Mission San Buenaventura (March 31, 1782).

Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Buenaventura

Facts about Junipero Serra 9: A statue of Friar Junipero Serra

The statue of Junipero Serra is located in the National Statuary Hall Collection which was made by Ettore Cadorin. The statue represents Serra who holds a cross and looks skyward.

Facts about Junipero Serra 10: Death

Junipero Serra died on August 28, 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borromeo when he was 70 years old.

Saint Junipero Serra
Saint Junipero Serra

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