Serra, Junipero 
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Time Period
11/24/1713  - 8/28/1784
Description
Junipero Serra was a Spanish Franciscan priest who was influential in the spread of Catholicism and colonization in California. After the Franciscans replaced the Jesuits in California, Serra was appointed to supervise missionary work and colonize the region. In 1769, he founded Mission San Diego, the first of his nine missions along the West Coast. Serra’s efforts helped to strengthen Spanish control of the region, and many of his missions became important cities in California (e.g., San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara).

Serra’s relationship with the native population is complex and widely debated. On one hand, he helped bring literacy and agricultural customs to the area and baptized more than 6,000 native Indians. On the other hand, his missions brought Old World diseases and death to that population, and some 20th-century native Indians claimed that he enslaved their ancestors.

His work earned him the title of Apostle of California, and he was beatified on September 25, 1988.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Junipero Serra portrait- Internet Archive- from Life of Ven. Padre Junipero Serra by Francis Palou

Junipero Serra preaching- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-132753

Junipero Serra statue- Architect of the Capitol National Statuary Hall Collection
Book/Journal Source(s)
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Source(s)
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/535828/Blessed-Junipero-Serra
Junipero Serra's Encyclopedia Britannica Biography
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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