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Junipero Serra - The Founder of California

An 18th-century missionary from Petra

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Junipero Serra - The Founder of California

The Mallorcan missionary, Junipero Serra (1713-84), is honoured in the Capitol in Washington as 'the founder of California'.

Of course, California was there already but it was Serra, sent there at the age of 54 after 14 years in Mexico, who established the missions which have grown into some of Americans biggest cities, including San Diego and San Francisco. A museum in his hometown of Petra tells the story.

Serra was beatified in 1988, the first step on the road to sainthood.