Serra, Father Junípero (1713–1784)

Born Miguel José Serra on November 24, 1713, at Petra on the island of Mallorca, Father Junípero Serra gained renown as a teacher of philosophy on his home island, as a missionary and comisario of the Inquisition in the Sierra Gorda in Mexico, and ultimately as founder and Father President of the California missions. In 1988, Pope John Paul II beatified him, and the international Serra Cause and massive documentation support his canonization. The outlines of his life are well-known, although there are large gaps in documentation concerning his experience in Mexico, and his reticence about self-revelation in his many letters and reports renders his life history incomplete. His legacy will always be controversial, his admirers applauding his efforts at Christianizing the Native Americans, others ...

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