The priest who is credited with creating California’s missions was born Miguel Jose Serra, on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain. Entering the Franciscan Order at sixteen when he took the baptismal name of Junipero, he was soon
During the 300-plus years Spain claimed ownership of California by right of conquest, Spain’s official religion took a part in setting the state’s first southern boundary. Imperial Spain’s Nueva Espana (New Spain) was far-flung: it included the Caribbean, Mexico, and parts of
When Christopher Columbus returned home with news of his discovery, ships of many nations set sail for the New World with various agendas. Spain, quite unabashedly, went in quest of gold. They found it it Mexico–where the natives who came to greet warrior Hernan Cortez
When Franciscan friars Father Crespi and Father Junipero Serra came to colonize California in the late 1760s, they looked upon this undertaking as a “sacred expedition” to bring native heathens into the Church.