Junipero Serra

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Junipero Serra (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was a Franciscan friar most well known for founding the California missions. He was from Majorca in Spain. He was a teacher of philosophy in Spain and Mexico in the 1740s. In 1768, Serra became head of the missionaries in Baja California, and started the first and only Franciscan mission there. Soon after that, he started Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first Spanish mission in Alta California. Serra started nine missions in Alta California. He was head of the California missions, and was based in Monterey. There is a statue of him in Statuary Hall from California. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988.