Fray Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Mallorca, Spain, November 24, 1713 and died in Monterey, California, August 28, 1784. Today marks three hundred years since his birth.
This statue of Father Junipero Serra was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by California in 1931. He is recognized as one of the most important Spanish missionaries in the New World, the evangelist of California and one of the fathers of the American Homeland.
|La primera estatua por la izquierda es la de Junípero Serra,|
el único no norteamericano en el Capitolio de Washington.
The first statue to the left is of Junipero Serra,
the only non-American one in the Capitol of Washington.
«No se apagará su memoria, porque las obras que hizo cuando vivía han de quedar estampadas entre los habitantes de la Nueva California»
"His memory will not be extinguished, for the work he did during his life has been permanently stamped into the lives of the New California's inhabitants."
On the 14th of this month Spain's Prince Felipe left a laurel wreath in his memory at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Carmel River where Fray Junipero Serra is buried. It is adorned with a ribbon with the colors of the Spanish flag on a slab where you can read "Fray Junipero Serra. Apostle of California. 1713-1784." The gesture is part of the events organized to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his birth.
|San Diego, la primera de las 21 misiones de los franciscanos españoles en Alta California.|
San Diego, the first of 21 Spanish Franciscan missions in Alta California.
He was a Franciscan friar, doctor of philosophy and theology. He devoted his time to teaching and preaching until, in 1749, he left his successful career as a teacher to go to America as a missionary, first to Mexico and then, in 1767, to California.
|En la iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción, Old Town San Diego,|
con Fray Junípero a mis espaldas.
In the Church Of The Immaculate Conception, Old Town, San Diego
with Fray Junípero at my back.
When they arrived at a convenient place, they raised a chapel, residence huts for the monks and a small fort to guard against possible attacks. They welcomed the Indians who approached out of curiosity, and once they earned their trust, they invited them to settle in the vicinity of the mission.
|Fray Junípero en una vidriera de la misma iglesia.|
Fray Junipero in a stained glass window of the same church.
There, as they taught the Gospel to the Indians, the missionaries taught them methods of agriculture, livestock and masonry, gave them seeds and animals and advised them how to work the land. Some of them also learned techniques in carpentry and blacksmithing. The women received training in cooking, sewing and sewing fabric.
Soon, Fray Junípero learned the Indians' language and translated prayers and Christian doctrine into their native tongue.
«Él no sólo llevó el Evangelio a los indígenas americanos; como era una persona que vivía el Evangelio, se hizo también su defensor y su paladín».
"He not only brought the Gospel to Native Americans , as he was a person who lived the Gospel , but he also became their advocate and their champion."
Juan Pablo II (1987)
|Mapa de la costa de California y las misiones fundadas por el Padre Junípero Serra (1-9)|
y los franciscanos (10-21) (The Library of Congress)
A él se deben las primeras 9 de las 21 misiones que los franciscanos españoles fundaron en Alta California. Tras su muerte, en agosto de 1784, sus misiones continuaron floreciendo durante otros cincuenta años y han venido a ser hoy las principales ciudades del estado: San Diego, Santa Bárbara, Los Ángeles, San Francisco, San José...
To him we owe the first nine of the 21 missions that the Spanish Franciscans founded in Alta California. After his death, in August 1784, their missions continued to flourish for another fifty years and have now become the major cities of California: San Diego, Santa Bárbara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San José and the rest.