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Blessed Serra Bio

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Who is Blessed Junípero Serra?

Serra SignatureSerra StatueBlessed Serra was born Miguel Jose Serra 24 November 1713 at Petra on the Island of Majorca. He died 28 August 1784 and is buried at the mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. On 14 September 1730 he entered the Franciscan Order. He received a Doctor of Theology degree from Lullian University at Palma and, in 1749, joined the missionary college of San Fernando, Mexico. In Mexico he sustained a leg injury which plagued him the rest of his life; but he continued to travel by walking. He served in the missions, eventually finding himself superior of a band of fifteen Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Lower California. In 1769 he joined Portolá's land expedition to Upper California. In May, in Lower California, he established the Mission San Fernando de Velicatá. He arrived in San Diego on 1 July and on 16 July founded the first of the 21 California missions where he ministered until his death. Blessed Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 25 September 1988. His statue represents California in the National Statuary Hall. His feast day is 1 July.

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