Junipero Serra

Father Junípero Serra, a Franciscan monk from Majorca, Spain, was the founder of the California Mission system, which were the first non-Native American settlements in California. He founded Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the 1st of the 21 California missions in 1769, and subsequently founded missions San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (Carmel),  San Antonio de Padua, San Gabriel Arcángel, San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores), San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara de Asís and San Buenaventura.

Fr. Serra died at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo of Carmel, near Monterey, on the 28th of August, 1784. On September 23, 2015, Blessed Junípero Serra was canonized as a saint by Pope Francis I in a special mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.