|Blessed Junípero Serra, O.F.M.|
Blessed Junípero Serra at age 61, ten years before his death.
|Priest and religious|
November 24, 1713|
Petra, Majorca, Spain
|Died||August 28, 1784
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Las Californias, New Spain, Spanish Empire
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church
(Franciscan Order & the United States)
|Beatified||September 25, 1988, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Carmel, California, United States|
Junípero Serra Ferrer, O.F.M., (/ /; Spanish: [xuˈnipeɾo ˈsera]) (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, which at the time were in Alta California in the Province of Las Californias in New Spain. He began in San Diego on July 16, 1769, and established his headquarters near the Presidio of Monterey, but soon moved a few miles south to establish Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in today's Carmel, California.
The missions were primarily designed to bring the Catholic Christian faith to the native peoples. Other aims were to integrate the neophytes into Spanish society, and to train them to take over ownership and management of the land. As head of the order in California, Serra not only dealt with church officials, but also with Spanish officials in Mexico City and with the local military officers who commanded the nearby presidio (garrison).
Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, and Pope Francis expects to canonize him in September 2015 during his first visit to the United States. This has been controversial with some of Native American extraction who criticize Serra's treatment of their ancestors and associate him with the suppression of their culture.
- 1 History
- 2 Relationship with Native Californians
- 3 Death and burial
- 4 Veneration
- 5 Legacy
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Serra was born as Miquel Joseph Serra i Ferrer into a family of humble farmers and devout Catholics, in the village of Petra on the island of Majorca (Mallorca) off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. (Miquel Joseph Serra is the Catalan equivalent of Miguel José Sierra in Castilian Spanish). A few hours after birth, he was baptized in the village church. His mother, Margarita Ferrer, had lost her first two children in their infancy. By age seven, Miquel was working the fields with his parents, helping cultivate wheat and beans, and tending the cattle. But he showed a special interest in visiting the local Franciscan friary. The friars taught him reading, writing, mathematics, religion and liturgical song. At age 15, his parents enrolled him in a Franciscan school in the capital city, Palma de Majorca, where he studied philosophy. A year later, he became a novice in the Franciscan order.
The slight and frail Miquel now embarked on the novitiate, his rigorous year of preparation to become a full member of the Franciscan order. His daily routine at the convent followed a rigid schedule: prayers, meditation, choir singing, physical chores, spiritual readings, and instruction. He had to wake up every midnight for another round of chants. His superiors discouraged letters and visits. In his free time, Miquel avidly read stories about Franciscan friars roaming the provinces of Spain and around the world to win new souls for the church, often suffering martyrdom in the process. He followed the news of famous missionaries winning beatification and sainthood.
Takes the name Junípero, becomes a Franciscan
On November 14, 1730 — just shy of his 17th birthday — Miquel entered the Alcantarine Franciscans, a reform movement in the Order, and took the name "Junipero" in honor of Brother Juniper, who had also been a Franciscan and a companion of Saint Francis. The young Junípero, along with his fellow novices, vowed to scorn property and comfort, and to remain chaste. He still had seven years to go to become an ordained priest. He immersed himself in rigorous studies of logic, metaphysics, cosmology, and theology.
In 1737 Serra became a priest, and three years later earned a professorial commission to teach philosophy at the Convento de San Francisco. His philosophy course, including over 60 students, lasted three years. Among his students were fellow future missionaries Francisco Palóu and Juan Crespí. When the course ended in 1743, Serra told his students: "I desire nothing more from you than this, that when the news of my death shall have reached your ears, I ask you to say for the benefit of my soul: 'May he rest in peace.' Nor shall I omit to do the same for you so that all of us will attain the goal for which we have been created."
Father Serra was considered intellectually brilliant by his peers. He received a doctorate in theology from the Lullian University in Palma de Majorca, where he also occupied the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy until he joined the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico in 1749.
In 1748, Serra and Palóu confided to each other their secret desires to become missionaries. Serra, now 35, was assured a prestigious career as priest and scholar if he stayed in Majorca; but he set his sights firmly on pagan lands. Applying to the colonial bureaucracy in Madrid, Serra requested that both he and Palóu embark on a foreign mission. After weathering some administrative obstacles, Serra and Palóu got permission and set sail for Cádiz, a Spanish port of departure for America.
While waiting to set sail for America, Serra wrote a long letter to a colleague back in Majorca, urging him to console Serra's parents — now in their 70's — over their only son's pending departure. "They [my parents] will learn to see how sweet is His yoke," Serra wrote, "and that He will change for them the sorrow they may now experience into great happiness. Now is not the time to muse or fret over the happenings of life but rather to be conformed entirely to the will of God, striving to prepare themselves for that happy death which of all the things of life is our principal concern."
Arrives in New Spain (Mexico)
In 1749, Serra and the Franciscan missionary team landed in Veracruz, on the Gulf coast of Mexico (New Spain). Refusing to ride by carriage from Veracruz into Mexico City, Serra trekked up the steep mountain trail through tropical forests into the capital. On the way, he suffered a leg infection, breaking out into sores which caused him much pain in his future journeys by foot.
In Mexico City, Serra and his companions entered the college of San Fernando, a specialized training center and regional headquarters for Franciscan missionaries. Serra humbly asked to do his novitiate year again — despite his academic prestige, and the fact that the college's novices were far younger men. Though his request was declined, Serra insisted on living as a novice at San Fernando: "This learned university professor…would often eat more sparingly in order to replace the student whose turn it was to read to the community. Or he would humbly carry trays and wait on tables with the lay brothers…
Besides the routine of prayers, hymns and meditations, daily life at the secluded college included classes on the languages of Mexico's Indian peoples, mission administration, and theology. Before completing his required year of training, Serra volunteered for a mission in the rugged Sierra Gorda, to help replace friars who had recently died there. He was accepted as mission superior. His fellow volunteer Francisco Palóu became Serra's assistant in his first mission.
Mission in the Sierra Gorda, Mexico
The Sierra Gorda Indian mission, some 90 miles north of Santiago de Querétaro, was nestled in a vast region of jagged mountains, home of the Pame Indians and a scattering of Spanish colonists. The Pames — who, centuries earlier, had built a civilization with temples, idols and priests — lived mainly by gathering and hunting, but also pursued agriculture. Many groups among them, adopting mobile guerrilla tactics, had eluded conquest by the Spanish military.
Serra and Palóu, arriving at the village of Jalpan, found the mission in disarray: The parishioners, numbering fewer than a thousand, were attending neither confession nor holy communion. The two missionaries set about learning the Pame language from a Mexican who had lived among the Pames. But the claim by Francisco Palóu that Serra translated the catechism into the Pame language is questionable, as Serra himself later admitted he had great difficulties learning indigenous languages.
Serra involved Pames parishioners in the ritual reenactment of Jesus' forced death march. Erecting 14 stations, Serra led the procession himself, heaving a dreadfully heavy cross. At each station, the procession paused for a prayer, and at the end Serra sermonized on the sufferings and death of Jesus. During holy week, 12 elder Pames played the roles of the disciples. Serra, in the role of Jesus, humbly washed their feet and then dined with them.
Serra also tackled the practical side of mission administration. Working with the college of San Fernando, he had cattle, goats, sheep, and farming tools brought to the Sierra Gorda mission. Palóu supervised the farm labor of mission Indian men; the women learned spinning, sewing and knitting. Their products were collected and rationed to the mission residents, according to personal needs. Christian Pames sold their surplus products in nearby trading centers, under the friars' supervision to protect them from cheaters. Pames who adapted successfully to mission life received their own parcels of land to raise corn, beans and pumpkins, and sometimes received oxen and seeds as well.
Within two years, Serra had made inroads against the Pames' traditional belief system. On his 1752 visit from the Sierra Gorda mission to the college of San Fernando in Mexico City, Serra joyfully carried a goddess statue presented to him by Christian Pames. The statue, showing the face of Cachum, mother of the sun, had been erected on a hilltop shrine where some Pame chiefs lay buried.
Back in the Sierra Gorda, Serra faced a conflict between Spanish soldiers, settlers, and mission Indians. Following a Spanish military victory over the Pames in 1743, Spanish authorities had sent not only Franciscan missionaries, but also Spanish/Mexican soldiers and their families into the Sierra Gorda. The soldiers had the job of pursuing runaway mission Indians and securing the region for the Spanish crown. But the soldiers' land claims clashed with mission lands that Christian Pames were working.
Some of the soldiers' families tried to establish a town, and the officer in charge of their deployment approved their plan. The Pames objected, threatening to defend their lands by force if necessary. Soldiers and settlers let their cattle graze on Christian Pames' farmlands and bullied Pames into working for them. Serra and the college of San Fernando sided with the Pames — citing the Laws of the Indies, which banned colonial settlements in mission territories.
The viceroy, Spain's highest official in Mexico, suspended the intrusive colony. But the townspeople protested and stayed put. The government set up commissions and looked into alternative sites for the colony. It ordered the settlers to keep their cattle out of the Pames' fields, and to pay the Pames fairly for their labor (with the friars supervising payment). After a protracted legal struggle, the settlers moved out, and in 1755 the Pames and friars reclaimed their land.
Crowning his Sierra Gorda mission, Serra oversaw the construction of a splendid church in Jalpan. Gathering masons, carpenters, and other skilled craftsmen from Mexico City, Serra employed Christian Pames in seasonal construction work over the course of seven years to complete the church. Serra pitched in himself, carrying wooden beams and applying mortar between the stones forming the church walls.
Serra's work for the inquisition
During his 1752 visit to Mexico City, Serra sent a request from the college of San Fernando to the local headquarters of the Spanish inquisition. He asked that an inquisitor be appointed to preside over the Sierra Gorda. The next day, inquisition officials appointed Serra himself as inquisitor for the whole region — adding that he could exercise his powers anywhere he did missionary work in New Spain, as long as there was no regular inquisition official in the region.
In September 1752, Serra filed a report to the inquisition in Mexico City from Jalpan, on "evidences of witchcraft in the Sierra Gorda missions." He denounced several Christian non-Indians who lived in and around the mission for "the most detestable and horrible crimes of sorcery, witchcraft and devil worship… If it is necessary to specify one of the persons guilty of such crimes, I accuse by name a certain Melchora de los Reyes Acosta, a married mulattress, an inhabitant of the said mission… In these last days a certain Cayetana, a very clever Mexican woman of said mission, married to one Pérez, a mulatto, has confessed — she, being observed and accused of similar crimes, having been held under arrest by us for some days past — that in the mission there is a large congregation of [Christian non-Indians], although some Indians also join them, and that these persons,…flying through the air at night, are in the habit of meeting in a cave on a hill near a ranch called El Saucillo, in the center of said missions, where they worship and make sacrifice to the demons who appear visibly there in the guise of young goats and various other things of that nature… If such evil is not attacked, the horrible corruption will spread among these poor [Indian] neophytes who are in our charge."
According to modern Franciscan historians, this report by Serra to the inquisition is the only letter of his that has survived from eight years of mission work in the Sierra Gorda. Serra's first biographer, Francisco Palóu, wrote that Serra, in his role of inquisitor, had to work in many parts of Mexico and travel long distances. Yet the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City, with over a thousand volumes of indexed documents on the inquisition, apparently contains only two references to Serra's work for the inquisition following his 1752 appointment: his preaching in Oaxaca in 1764, and his partial handling of the case of a Sierra Gorda mulatto accused of sorcery in 1766.
Recalled to Mexico City, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people to penance: he would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lit candle to his bare chest.
In 1768, Father Serra was appointed superior of a band of 15 Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Baja California. The Franciscans took over the administration of the missions on the Baja California Peninsula from the Jesuits after King Carlos III ordered them forcibly expelled from New Spain on February 3, 1768. Serra became the "Father Presidente." On March 12, 1768, Serra embarked from the Pacific port of San Blas on his way to the Californias.
The next year the Spanish governor decided to explore and found missions in Alta (upper) California. This was intended both to Christianize the extensive Indian populations and to serve Spain's strategic interest by preventing Russian explorations and possible claims to North America's Pacific coast. Early in the year 1769, he accompanied Governor Gaspar de Portolà on his expedition to Alta California (see Timeline of the Portolà expedition). On the way, he established the Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá on May 14 (the only Franciscan mission in all of Baja California). When the party reached San Diego on July 1, Father Serra stayed behind to start the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first of the 21 California missions (including the nearby Visita de la Presentación, also founded under Serra's leadership).
Junipero Serra moved to the area that is now Monterey in 1770, and founded Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo. He remained there as "Father Presidente" of the Alta California missions. In 1771, Fr. Serra relocated the mission to Carmel, which became known as "Mission Carmel" and served as his headquarters. Under his presidency were founded:
- Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, July 16, 1769, present-day San Diego, California.
- Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, June 3, 1770, present-day Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
- Mission San Antonio de Padua, July 14, 1771
- Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, September 8, 1771, present-day San Gabriel, California.
- Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, September 1, 1772, present-day city of San Luis Obispo, California.
- Mission San Juan Capistrano, November 1, 1776, present-day San Juan Capistrano
- Mission San Francisco de Asís, June 29, 1776, present-day San Francisco, California chain of missions.
- Mission Santa Clara de Asís, January 12, 1777, present-day city of Santa Clara, California, and
- Mission San Buenaventura, March 31, 1782, present-day Ventura, California.
Fr. Serra was also present at the founding of the Presidio of Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California) on April 21, 1782, but was prevented from locating the mission there because of the animosity of Governor Felipe de Neve.
In 1773, difficulties with Pedro Fages, the military commander, compelled Father Serra to travel to Mexico City to argue before Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa for the removal of Fages as the Governor of California Nueva. At the capital of Mexico, by order of Viceroy Bucareli, he printed up Representación in 32 articles. Bucareli ruled in Father Serra's favor on 30 of the 32 charges brought against Fages, and removed him from office in 1774, after which time Father Serra returned to California. In 1778, Fr. Serra, although not a bishop, was given dispensation to administer the sacrament of confirmation for the faithful in California. After he had exercised his privilege for a year, Governor Felipe de Neve directed him to suspend administering the sacrament until he could present the papal brief. For nearly two years Father Serra refrained, and then Viceroy Majorga gave instructions to the effect that Father Serra was within his rights.
Franciscans saw the Indians as children of God who deserved the opportunity for salvation, and would make good Christians. Converted Indians were segregated from Indians who had not yet embraced Christianity, lest there be a relapse. Discipline was strict, and the converts were not allowed to come and go at will. Serra successfully resisted the efforts of Governor Felipe de Neve to bring Enlightenment policies to missionary work, because those policies would have subverted the economic and religious goals of the Franciscans.
Serra wielded this kind of influence because his missions served economic and political purposes as well as religious ends. The number of civilian colonists in Alta California never exceeded 3,200, and the missions with their Indian populations were critical to keeping the region within Spain's political orbit. Economically, the missions produced all of the colony's cattle and grain, and by the 1780s were even producing surpluses sufficient to trade with Mexico for luxury goods.
During the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), Father Serra took up a collection from his mission parishes throughout California. The total money collected amounted to roughly $137, but the money was sent to General George Washington. Serra also received the title Founder of Spanish California.
Relationship with Native Californians
As summarized by The New York Times, "Indian historians and authors blame Father Serra for the suppression of their culture and the premature deaths at the missions of thousands of their ancestors."
According to George Tinker, himself an Osage/Cherokee and professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, Serra's legacy included forced labor of converted Indians in order to support the missions. Overwhelming evidence suggests that "native peoples resisted the Spanish intrusion from the beginning". Tinker also states that Serra's intentions in evangelizing were honest and genuine.
Serra's own views are documented. In 1780, Serra wrote: "that spiritual fathers should punish their sons, the Indians, with blows appears to be as old as the conquest of the Americas; so general in fact that the saints do not seem to be any exception to the rule." Serra pushed for a system of laws to protect natives from some abuses by Spanish soldiers, whose practices were in conflict with his.
Mark A. Noll, a professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, has noted that this reflected an attitude, common at the time, that missionaries could, and should, treat their wards like children, including the use of corporal punishment. On the other hand, Tinker argues that it is more appropriate to judge the beatings and whippings administered by Serra by 18th-century Native American standards (since they were the recipients of the violence) and notes, for instance, that Native Americans were unaccustomed to punishing their children.[dubious ]
Salvatore J. Cordileone, the current archbishop of San Francisco, acknowledges Native American concerns about Serra's whippings and coercive treatment, but argues that missionaries were also teaching school and farming.
much nicer to the Indians, really, than even to the governors. He didn't get along too well with some of the military people, you know. His attitude was, 'Stay away from the Indians'. I think you really come up with a benevolent, hard-working person who was strict in a lot of his doctrinal leanings and things like that, but not a person who was enslaving Indians, or beating them, ever....He was a very caring person and forgiving. Even after the burning of the mission in San Diego, he did not want those Indians punished. He wanted to be sure that they were treated fairly...
Deborah A. Miranda, a professor of American literature at Washington and Lee University and Native American, stated that "Serra did not just bring us Christianity. He imposed it, giving us no choice in the matter. He did incalculable damage to a whole culture".
Death and burial
During the remaining three years of his life he once more visited the missions from San Diego to San Francisco, traveling more than 600 miles in the process, in order to confirm all who had been baptized. He suffered intensely from his crippled leg and from his chest, yet he would use no remedies. He confirmed 5,309 people, who, with but few exceptions, were Indian neophytes converted during the 14 years from 1770.
On August 28, 1784, at the age of 70, Father Junípero Serra died at Mission San Carlos Borromeo. He is buried there under the sanctuary floor. Following Serra's death, leadership of the Franciscan missionary effort in Alta California passed to Fermín Lasuén.
Junípero Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, this being the next-to-last step towards canonization, or recognition of sainthood, in the Catholic Church. The pope spoke before a crowd of 20,000 in a beatification ceremony for six; according to the pope's address in English, "He sowed the seeds of Christian faith amid the momentous changes wrought by the arrival of European settlers in the New World. It was a field of missionary endeavor that required patience, perseverance, and humility, as well as vision and courage."
During Serra's beatification, questions were raised about how Indians were treated while Serra was in charge. The question of Franciscan treatment of Indians first arose in 1783. The famous historian of missions Herbert Eugene Bolton gave evidence favorable to the case in 1948, and the testimony of five other historians was solicited in 1986.
On January 15, 2015, Pope Francis announced that in September, he hopes to canonize the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan as a part of his first visit to the United States. He will be the first native saint of the Balearic Islands. He will be canonized on 23 September 2015 in Washington D.C. by Pope Francis.
The Mission in Carmel, California containing Serra's remains has continued as a place of public veneration. The burial location of Serra is southeast of the altar and is marked with an inscription in the floor of the sanctuary. Other relics are remnants of the wood from Serra's coffin on display next to the sanctuary, and personal items belonging to Serra on display in the mission museums. A bronze and marble sarcophagus depicting Serra's life was completed in 1924 by Catalan sculptor Joseph A. Mora. Serra's remains have not been transferred to the sarcophagus.
Many of Serra's letters and other documentation are extant, the principal ones being his "Diario" of the journey from Loreto to San Diego, which was published in Out West (March to June 1902) along with Serra's "Representación."'
The Junípero Serra Collection (1713-1947) at the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library are their earliest archival materials. The Santa Barbara Mission-Archive Library is part of the building complex of the Mission Santa Barbara, but is now a separate non-profit, independent educational and research institution. The Santa Barbara Mission-Archive Library continues to have ties to the Franciscans and the legacy of Padre Serra.
The chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, built in 1782, is thought to be the oldest standing building in California. Known as "Father Serra's Church," it is the only remaining church in which Father Serra is known to have celebrated the rites of the Roman Catholic Church (he presided over the confirmations of 213 people on October 12 and October 13, 1783).
In 1884, the Legislature of California passed a concurrent resolution making August 29 of that year, the centennial of Father Serra's burial, a legal holiday.
Among the many schools named after Serra are Junípero Serra High School in the San Diego community of Tierrasanta, Junípero Serra Elementary School in Ventura, J Serra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Father Serra Catholic School (Grades JK-8) in Rancho Santa Margarita, Junípero Serra High School in Gardena, California, and Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo.
Serra International, a global lay organization that promotes religious vocations to the Catholic Church, was named in his honor. The group, founded in 1935, currently numbers a membership of about 20,000 worldwide. It also boasts over 1,000 chapters in 44 countries.
Serra's legacy towards Native Americans has been a topic of discussion in the Los Angeles area in recent years. An indigenous rights group called the Mexica Movement protested Serra's canonization at the Los Angeles Cathedral in February 2015. The Huntington Library announcement of its 2013 exhibition on Serra made it clear that Serra's treatment of Native Americans would be part of the comprehensive coverage of his legacy.
Statuary and monuments
- A statue of Friar Junípero Serra is one of two statues representing the state of California in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol. The statue, sculpted by Ettore Cadorin, depicts Serra holding a cross and looking skyward. In February 2015, State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced a bill in the California legislature to remove the Serra statue and replace it with one of astronaut Sally Ride. In May 2015, some California Catholics were organizing to keep Serra's statue in place. California Governor Jerry Brown joined in support of retaining the statue during a July 2015 visit to the Vatican. On July 2, Lara announced that as a gesture of respect towards Pope Francis and people of faith, the vote on the proposal to replace the statue would be postponed until next year. Pope Francis is expected to canonize Serra as part of his September 2015 papal visit to the US.
- A gold statue of heroic size represents him as the apostolic preacher at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
- Jane Elizabeth Lathrop Stanford, wife of Leland Stanford, governor and U.S. Senator from California, a non-Catholic herself, had a granite monument erected to honor Father Serra at Monterey.
- When Interstate 280 was built in stages from Daly City to San Jose in the 1960s, it was named the Junipero Serra Freeway. Along the freeway in Hillsborough, California, is a statue of Serra. It stands on a hill on the northbound side and has a large pointing finger facing the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific.
- A statue of Serra is located in the courtyard of Mission Dolores, San Francisco's oldest remaining building.
- A full-size bronze statue of Serra overlooks the entrance to Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo, near the façade of Old Mission San Luis Obispo.
- A bronze statue of Father Junípero Serra standing over an outline of the State of California stands in the California State Capitol's Capitol Park. The statue of Serra faces that of Thomas Starr King, which was previously located in the National Statuary Hall Collection.
Points of interest
Many cities in California have streets, trails, and other features named after Serra. Examples include Santa Barbara, which contains Alameda Padre Serra (Father Serra's Street), running from Mission Santa Barbara along the base of the Riviera, the hill overlooking the city; Serra Cross Park in Ventura, site of the cross Serra erected at Mission San Buenaventura's founding; and San Diego, in which Father Junipero Serra Trail runs through the Mission Trails Regional Park to Santee.
- "Patron Saints and their feast days". Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "Blessed Junípero Serra 1713 - 1784". Serra Club of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Pope to Canonize ‘Evangelizer of the West’ During U.S. Trip". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Pogash, Carol (January 21, 2015). "To Some in California, Founder of Church Missions Is Far From Saint". The New York Times.
- (1713-11-24) Serra's baptismal record
- Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, p. 15.
- Geiger, Maynard, "The Life and Times of Padre Serra", Richmond: William Byrd Press, 1959, p. 26
- Maynard Geiger, The Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, O.F.M.: The Man Who Never Turned Back. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1959, vol. 2, p. 375.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Junipero Serra". newadvent.org. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Junípero Serra, letter to Francesch Serra, Cádiz, August 20, 1749. Writings of Junípero Serra. Antonine Tibesar, O.F.M., editor. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955, vol. 1, p. 5.
- Eric O'Brien, O.F.M. "The Life of Padre Serra." Writings of Junípero Serra. Antonine Tibesar, editor. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955, vol. 1, p. xxxii.
- Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, pp. 49-50.
- Rose Marie Beebe, Robert M. Senkewicz, Junípero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary, University of Oklahoma Press, 2015, Google Books
- Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, p. 501.
- Maynard Geiger. The Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, O.F.M.: The Man Who Never Turned Back. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1959, vol. 1, pp. 116-17.
- Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, p. 52.
- Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, pp. 55-6.
- Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, p. 55.
- Maynard Geiger. The Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, O.F.M.: The Man Who Never Turned Back. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1959, vol. 1, p. 115.
- "Report to the Inquisition of Mexico City." Xalpan, September 1, 1752. Writings of Junípero Serra. Antonine Tibesar, O.F.M., editor. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955, vol. 1, pp. 19-21.
- Writings of Junípero Serra. Antonine Tibesar, O.F.M., editor. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955, vol. 1, p. 410 (reference note).
- Maynard Geiger. The Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra: The Man Who Never Turned Back. Academy of American Franciscan History, 1959, vol. 1, p. 149. Also, Don DeNevi and Noel Francis Moholy. Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California's Missions. Harper & Row, 1985, p. 56.
- "PBS - THE WEST - Junipero Serra". pbs.org. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Francis P. Guest, "Junipero Serra and His Approach to the Indians," Southern California Quarterly, (1985) 67#3 pp 223-261.
- Tinker, George E. , "Missionary Conquest," Chap. 3, Fortress Press, 1993, pages 42 and 61
- Tinker, p. 59.
- Tinker, p. 42.
- Noll, Mark A., A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, pp. 15–16, Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing, 1992
- Tinker, p. 58.
- Steve Chawkins (28 August 2009). "Junipero Serra advocates need just one more miracle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Terry Leonard, "Pope beatifies founder of missions," Associated Press story published in the Santa Barbara News-Press, September 26, 1988, p. A4.
- James A. Sandos, "Junipero Serra, Canonization, and the California Indian Controversy," Journal of Religious History (1989) 15#3 pp 311-329
- James A. Sandos, "Junipero Serra's Canonization and the Historical Record," American Historical Review (1988) 93#5 pp 1253-69 in JSTOR
- Guest, Francis P., "Junipero Serra and His Approach to the Indians," Southern California Quarterly, (1985) 67#3 pp 223-261.
- "Pope's canonization announcement surprises even Serra's promoters". Catholic News Service. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library". Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912
- Brittany Woolsey, "Catholics coalescing to save statue of Serra," Los Angeles Times, Monday, May 11, 2015, p. B4.
- Siders, David. Jerry Brown says Junípero Serra statue will stay. Sacramento Bee, July 21, 2015.
- White, Jeremy B. Pope’s visit delays vote to ditch Junipero Serra statue. Sacramento Bee. July 2, 2015.
- Castillo, Elias (2015). A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California's Indians by the Spanish Missions. Quill Driver Books. ISBN 978-1-61035-242-0.
- Clifford, Christian (2015). Saint Junípero Serra: Making Sense of the History and Legacy. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1511862295.
- Cook, Sherburne Friend (1976-10-28). The conflict between the California Indian and white civilization. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03142-5.; Cook did not discuss Serra but looked at the missions as a system
- Deverell, William Francis; William Deverell; David Igler (2008-10-31). A Companion to California History. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-1-4051-6183-1.
- Fitch, Abigail Hetzel (1914). Junipero Serra: The Man and His Work.
- Fogel, Daniel (1988-02-01). Junipero Serra, the Vatican, and Enslavement Theology. ISM Press. ISBN 978-0-910383-25-7.
- Geiger, Maynard J. The Life and Times of Fray Junipero Serra, OFM (2 vol 1959) 8 leading scholarly biography
- Geiger, Maynard. "Fray Junípero Serra: Organizer and Administrator of the Upper California Missions, 1769-1784," California Historical Society Quarterly (1963) 42#3 pp 195-220.
- Gleiter, Jan (1991). Junipero Serra.
- Guest, Francis P. "Junipero Serra and His Approach to the Indians," Southern California Quarterly, (1985) 67#3 pp 223-261; favorable to Serra
- Hackel, Steven W. "The Competing Legacies of Junípero Serra: Pioneer, saint, villain," Common-Place (2005) 5#2
- Hackel, Steven W. Junípero Serra: California's Founding Father (2013)
- Hackel, Steven W. Children of Coyote, Missionaries of St. Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850 (2005)
- Sandos, James A. (2004). Converting California: Indians and Franciscans in the Missions. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10100-3.
- Luzbetak, Lewis J. "If Junipero Serra Were Alive: Missiological-Anthropological Theory Today," Americas, (1985) 42: 512-19, argues that Serra's intense commitment to saving the souls of the Indians would qualify him as an outstanding missionary by 20th century standards.
- Orfalea, Gregory (2014). Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of California. Scribner. ISBN 978-1-4516-4272-8.
- Serra, Junipero. Writings of Junípero Serra, ed. and trans. by Antonine Tibesar, 4 vols. (Washington, D.C,. 1955-66).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Junípero Serra.|
- The Humanity of Junípero Serra, an article by Thomas Davis at the Serra International official website
- Firing Line with William F. Buckley: Saint or Sinner: Junipero Serra (March 17, 1989) Edward Castillo and Father Noel Maholy talk with William F. Buckley after Serra's beatification.
- Official Santa Barbara Mission-Archive Library website
- Junípero Serra at Find a Grave
- Texts on Wikisource: