“Always go forward, never go back.”
Junipero Serra was born Jose Miguel Serra on an island off the coast of Spain, in 1713. At the age of 17, he joined the Franciscans and took the name Junipero. He spent most of his time as a student and then teacher of philosophy and theology. When he was 35, he requested to be a missionary.
In 1749, Junipero set sail for Mexica. His desire was to bring Christianity to the Native Americans. Over the next 20 years, he established nine Franciscan missions along the Pacific Coast and baptized close to six thousand Native Americans.
While Junipero’s main goal was to create a community in which native peoples would come to understand the truth of the Gospel, the missions also taught them how to grow crops and raise livestock. They learned to read, sing and paint.
Named the “father of California”, Junipero Serra found his calling through the spiritual work of instruction. "All my life I have wanted to be a missionary. I have wanted to carry the gospel message to those who have never heard of God and the kingdom he has prepared for them."
Serran Prayer For Vocations
O God, Who wills not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be converted and live, grant we beseech You, through the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Saint Joseph, her spouse, Blessed Junipero Sera and all the saints, an increase of laborers for your Church, fellow laborers with Christ to spend and consume themselves for souls, through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen
Website: Loyola Press http://loyolapress.com/saints.htm#