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Junipero Serra

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Is Junipero Serra's sainthood a mixed blessing for Carmel-by-the-Sea? The first act of vandalism occurred at the north end of town, on the day Pope Francis canonized Father Junipero Serra.

Is Junipero Serra's sainthood a mixed blessing for Carmel-by-the-Sea?

The weekly Carmel Pine Cone reported that someone had poured black paint on a statue of Serra, and that a neighbor had cleaned it up within hours. The second act, a few days later, was even bolder. On Sunday morning, worshipers coming to Mass at Carmel Mission were met with a distressing sight. A statue of Serra in the courtyard had been splashed with green paint and toppled.

The vandals scrawled “Saint of Genocide” on the base and poured brown paint on a nearby grave stone. “Your heart just absolutely breaks,” said Rico Tesio, an event manager at the Monterey Bay Aquarium who has belonged to the church for three years. I cannot say I found the crimes entirely shocking, or even unexpected. Lots of us grow up and remember just one thing about his relationship with the Indians: the floggings. “The floggings were terrible,” said Serra biographer Gregory Orfalea. Junipero cartoon. St katarie. Serra. Decision to canonize Father Junipero Serra draws divided reaction. He wandered beyond the edge of Christendom into a rugged land of "infidels" he sought to convert.

Decision to canonize Father Junipero Serra draws divided reaction

When Father Junipero Serra and his cavalcade arrived at la bahia de San Diego in 1769, between 225,000 and 310,000 natives inhabited the territory that would become the state of California. The string of missions he and his Franciscan order established would become an origin story for the state, a folkloric tale of vineyards and benevolent friars, taught to students from Modoc to San Ysidro. Reality was much harsher. The Spanish flogged natives who disobeyed, banned their beliefs and customs, captured those who tried to escape. In the end, they converted less than a quarter of the population, while their livestock and disease destroyed native food supplies and decimated villages. Serra has been hailed and pilloried as the Columbus of California, an intrepid explorer who opened a bountiful new land to Europeans at the expense of the people already there.

Steven W. Joe.mozingo@latimes.com. What Did Junipero Serra Do? And Why Is Pope Francis Canonizing Him? On Wednesday, Pope Francis will canonize Father Junipero Serra in a mass in D.C.

What Did Junipero Serra Do? And Why Is Pope Francis Canonizing Him?

In the mid-18th century, Serra led the missionary movement in California. During this time, groups of Spanish priests worked to baptize Native Americans and bring them into the fairly regimented lifestyle of mission communities. “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,” Deborah A. “There is one basic article that North American journalists are writing about this: that the Indians don’t like it, and there was genocide, and there were beatings, and what is the pope thinking in doing this?” But, he said, there are a number of things missing from this story. Miquel Joseph Serra was born on the Spanish island of Majorca in 1713. This is where much of the current controversy begins. Over time, historians have uncovered evidence of how destructive this was for native peoples. Junipero Serra was a brutal colonialist. So why did Pope Francis just make him a saint?

On Wednesday, Pope Francis officially canonized Father Junipero Serra, thereby making Serra a Catholic saint.

Junipero Serra was a brutal colonialist. So why did Pope Francis just make him a saint?

Serra founded several Catholic missions to convert Native Americans in 18th-century California, and he's the first saint to be canonized on US soil. The pope actually fast-tracked his confirmation — skipping a couple of traditionally required steps — to make sure he could grant sainthood to Serra during his visit to the States. But a lot of Americans — particularly Native Americans — have been protesting Serra's canonization. After all, many people today think that "civilizing" the Native Americans of California did more to erase their culture than it did to save their souls. Here's why there's so much controversy over what Serra's legacy really was — and whether his life is something the Catholic Church, not to mention the reputedly progressive Pope Francis, should be celebrating in 2015.

The new saint Fray Junípero and America’s true identity. A portrait of Junípero Serra Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour*vatican city Long before the arrival of the Mayflower pilgrims and the establishment of the 13 colonies along the Atlantic coast, there had been a long-established Hispanic, Catholic and missionary presence in the United States, which began with the foundation, in 1565, of San Agustín, in Florida, the oldest municipality in the United States, under constant siege.

The new saint Fray Junípero and America’s true identity

It started expanding from Florida and Louisiana, then from the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and Santa Fe, right up until the Pacific coast. “"Unfortunately, too many Americans think that America was discovered in 1620 when the Pilgrims came and they forget the tremendous adventure of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in the southern and South-western United States,” President John Kennedy wrote.