People often ask who founded the Spanish missions in California. And while Fr. Junípero Serra and Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén are rightly credited as the main mission founders, several other missionaries were involved in establishing missions in California.
The winter solstice illuminations are a fascinating and little-known aspect of the California missions. This is the story of my trip to witness this phenomenon.
A new exhibit on the life of Junípero Serra made its New York debut in January. It tells the story of the missionary from Mallorca in his own words.
Junipero Serra was born Miguel José Serra on November 24, 1713, in the town of Petra on the island of Mallorca, Spain, 302 years ago. You can read more about Junipero Serra’s life here.
The Academy of American Franciscan History has released a new video documentary on Junipero Serra, Introducing Junipero Serra: The Newest Saint. This video does a good job of avoiding the “grand narrative,” i.e., of framing Serra and the missions as part of a struggle between good guys vs. bad guys. Instead, in Introducing Junipero Serra, we something more resembling […]
Tsunamis are a fact of life in seismic California, as mission history reminds us. Dr. Dan Krieger is Professor Emeritus of History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a leading expert on the California missions. He relates the story of a tsunami that occurred off California’s central coast while Father Luis Gil y Taboada was stationed at […]