Sangria for Saint Junipero Serra
Today is the feast day of Saint Junipero Serra.
Miguel Jose Serra was born in Petra Spain in 1713. When he was 16 he entered the service of the Catholic Church. Upon entered the order of St. Francis of Assisi, he took the name Junipero. He was soon nicknamed Father Juniper.
For several years following his ordination, Serra remained at Palma as both student and teacher. He received a doctorate in theology in 1742. He served as professor of theology at the Franciscan university in Palma from 1744 to 1749. Serra volunteered to serve the mission in the new world and left in 1749. He traveled to Mexico and reached Vera Crus on Dec 8, 1749. He then walked to Mexico. During that 24 day journey an insect bite caused him considerable pain for the rest of his life.
His first assignment was in the Sierra Gorda in Mexico, where we spent 17 years doing missionary work.
In 1767 he took over 14 missions in Baja that originally belonged to the Jesuits, an order of priests.
He then traveled to San Diego de Alcala. It marked the beginning of the settlement of California.
Before his death in 1784 he traveled over 24,000 miles. He established 9 California missions and baptized more than 6,000 Indians. He introduced agriculture and irrigation to California’s Native Americans. He also created roads and fought against the abuses of Spanish Soldiers.
In honor of him and his feast day I made Sangria.
Peace be with you,