Junípero Serra (Religious Leader) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born

Junípero Serra

Junípero Serra y Ferrer, O.F.M., was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, in what was then Alta California in the Province of Las Californias, New Spain. Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, in the Vatican City. Pope Francis canonised him on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States. His missionary efforts earned him the title of Apostle of California.

Born: Miguel José Serra Ferrer, November 24, 1713, Petra, Majorca, Spain
Died: August 28, 1784, Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Las Californias, New Spain, Spanish Empire (modern day Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, U.S.)
Beatified: September 25, 1988, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Canonized: September 23, 2015, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Francis
Major shrine: Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, United States
Feast: July 1 (United States), August 26 (Mexico)
Attributes: Franciscan habit, wearing a large crucifix, or holding a crucifix accompanied by a young Native American boy
Patronage: Vocations, Hispanic Americans, California

About Junípero Serra

Remembered for establishing numerous Franciscan missions in California during the eighteenth century, this Spanish-born friar is particularly associated with the Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo.

Before Fame

In his early adulthood years, he became an ordained Catholic priest; studied at Spain’s Lullian University; and taught at Mexico City’s College of San Fernando de Mexico. He settled in California in the late 1760s.


His statue stands in the California corner of the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection.

Family Life

Born Miquel Josep Serra i Ferrer, he grew up in poverty in Majorca, Spain. In the early 1730s, upon entering the Alcantarine Franciscan order, he adopted the name of Junipero.


Serra’s 1988 beatification by Pope John Paul II was controversial as a result of Serra’s questionable treatment of the Native Americans who lived in the areas of California where he was establishing his missions.

Information related to Junípero Serra

  • Vizcaíno-Serra Oak – The Vizcaíno-Serra Oak was a large California live oak tree closely associated with Junípero Serra and the early history of Monterey, California. First described in 1602 by the explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno, it stood next to a creek in what is now Monterey State Historic Park.
  • Religious workers from California
  • Missions in Baja California
  • Christianity in California
  • Burials at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
  • Priests of the Spanish missions in California
  • Spanish Friars Minor
  • People of Alta California
  • Canonizations by Pope Francis
  • History of Baja California
  • 18th-century Christian saints
  • Franciscan saints
  • Franciscan missionaries
  • Spanish explorers of North America
  • Californios
  • Spanish Roman Catholic saints
  • Roman Catholic missionaries in the United States
  • History of San Diego
  • 18th-century Roman Catholic priests
  • 18th-century Spanish people
  • Spanish Roman Catholic priests
  • Venerated Catholics by Pope John Paul II
  • Beatifications by Pope John Paul II

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