Serra was born on November 24, 1713 to Antonio Serra and Margarita
Ferrer, his wife, in the village of Petra on the Island of Mallorca
off the east coast of Spain. He was baptized the same day at the
Gothic Church, Saint Peter's, and given the name Miguel Joseph.
He attended classes at the Friary of San Bernardino in Petra but
lived at the home of his parents. In 1730, Serra received the Franciscan
habit in the Convento de Jesus in the city of Palma, capital of
Mallorca. One year later he made his profession and took the name
the years 1731 and 1737, Serra continued to study philosophy and
theology at the royal Friary of San Francisco at Lulana University
in Palma. Serra preached in many towns of Mallorca before he journeyed
to New Spain.
Early in 1749 Serra and his friend,
Father Palou, decided they wanted to become missionaries and together
applied for permission to serve in this field. Many weeks went by
without a reply to their request. On Palm Sunday 1749, Father Palou
received word from the father Commissioner General of the Indies
that they had been accepted. Palou quickly made his way to Petra,
informing Serra of the decision. At the age of 35, Serra left Mallorca
with his friend, Father Palou, headed for Mexico and his new responsibilities.
Mexico Serra worked diligently to convert the Indians to Christianity.
As Father President of Franciscans, his missions in Northern Mexico
became models of the mission system. Father Serra founded his first
mission in Alta California, Mission San Diego in 1769. In 1776 he
founded Mission San Juan Capistrano as the seventh in a chain of
21. The Serra Chapel at this mission is the only remaining church
in California in which Father Serra is known to have celebrated
Mass. Father Serra died in 1784 and is buried at Mission San Carlos
Borromeo de Carmelo near Monterey. California. Today the Catholic
Church is going through the lengthy process of establishing sainthood
for Father Junipero Serra and he was given the title of "Blessed"
...more History & Mystery on SJC.net
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