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The Man Who Founded California - The Life of Saint Junipero Serra

Item Number: 11124

Catalog Code: MWFC-P

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Man Who Founded California

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This work is a popular but thorough biography of St. Junipero Serra (1713-1784), the tireless Franciscan missionary who came to California in the eighteenth century to evangelize the Native Americans. Well known for the historic missions that he helped establish all along the coast from San Diego to San Francisco (21 in all), Father Serra is even recognized by the secular society of the United States government as the “Founder of California”. As one of the pioneers who created the United States of America, his larger than life-size statue stands in the hall of the U.S. Capitol.

Archbishop Couve de Murville presents an historical and spiritual biography of Serra from his childhood and student days in Majorca, Spain, to his time in Mexico, and to his great missionary work in California. Regarded as a great teacher by his order, his superiors initially made Serra a professor of theology at the Lullian University in Palma, Spain. After teaching for five years, he answered the call to be a missionary to the New World, and embarked on a ship to Mexico in 1749. For the rest of his life he worked tirelessly as a preacher and a missionary in Mexico and California, his motto being “Always forward, never back.”

Canonized a saint by Pope Francis in 2015, Father Serra’s presence and work are still very much alive though the beautiful missions that are visited by millions of people every year.

This deluxe edition includes numerous illustrations, most in color, of the life and work of Serra, especially of the missions that dot the landscape of California, many gloriously restored to their original beauty.

“At crucial moments in human affairs, God raises up men and women whom he thrusts into the roles of decisive importance for the future development of both society and the Church. We rejoice all the more when their achievement is coupled with a holiness of life that can truly be called heroic. So it is with Junipero Serra, who in the providence of God was destined to be the Apostle of California.”
— St. John Paul II

“Junipero Serra is a great example for Catholics. He dedicated his life to the mission of evangelization, to bringing the good news of the Gospel to America. He understood that the purpose of the Church is to help us all grow as human persons and to respond to God’s call: to love God and love others.”
— Most Reverend Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, California


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9781621640578
142
10"  (25.4 cm) x 7"  (17.7 cm)
More Ignatius Press Gifts (About Ignatius Press)
2015

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Bl. Junipero Serra

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 07/01


Also known as
    Apostle of California
    Miguel José Serra Ferrer

Memorial
    1 July (United States)
    28 August (elsewhere)

Profile
    Entered the Franciscan University at Palma at age 15, and joined the Order at age 17, taking the name Junipero after the friend of Saint Francis. Ordained in 1737, and taught philosophy and theology at the Lullian University.

    In 1749, Serra was sent to the missionary territories of the west of North America. A mosquito bite he received early in his trip to the New World left one leg swollen; this and his asthma made walking a painful process for the rest of his life. In 1768 he took over missions in the Mexican provinces of Lower and Upper California, missions the Jesuits were forced to abandon by order of King Charles III. A tireless worker, Serra was largely responsible for the foundation and spread of the Church on the West Coast of the United States. Founded twenty-one missions, converted thousands of Native Americans, and trained many of them in European methods of agriculture, cattle husbandry, and crafts. Dedicated religious and missionary, penitent and austere in all areas of his life.

    Blessed Junipero Serra is the namesake of the Serra Club, an international Catholic organization dedicated to the promotion of vocations, and the support of seminarians and religious novices. Many of his letters and other writings have survived, and the diary of his travels to the west was published in the early 20th century.

Born
    24 November 1713 at Petra, Spanish Majorca as Miguel Jose Serra

Died
    28 August 1784 of tuberculosis at Mission San Carlos, California, USA of natural causes
    buried at Carmel, Monterey, California

Venerated
    9 May 1985 by Pope John Paul II

Beatified
    25 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized
    pending



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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