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This is the Liturgy of the Hours for November 30. Your local date is .

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July 01

Saint Junípero Serra, Priest

Optional Memorial

Saint Junípero Serra (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was a Spanish Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Order, an explorer and colonist of California, and founder of the missions of California. His missionary efforts earned him the title of “Apostle of California” and “The Father of the California Missions”.

Saint Pope John Paul II beatified Serra in 1988. He was canonized by Pope Francis during his official visit to the United States on September 23, 2015 on the East Portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception In Washington D.C. [1]

In his Homily, Pope Francis recognized the character of Saint Junípero Serra and the spirit of his missionary life: “[…] We are heirs to the bold missionary spirit of so many men and women who preferred not to be “shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security… within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving” (Evangelii Gaudium, 49). We are indebted to a tradition, a chain of witnesses who have made it possible for the good news of the Gospel to be, in every generation, both “good” and “news”.

Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life. He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God’s life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters. Junípero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.

Father Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, not just a saying, but above all a reality which shaped the way he lived: ¡siempre adelante! Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let’s keep moving forward!”[2]

Source:
[1] St. Junípero Serra article on carmelmission.org website
[2] Read the homily Pope Francis delivered September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC at the canonization of Junipero Serra
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

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