The upcoming canonization of Blessed Junípero Serra in Washington, D.C.—the first ever to take place on American soil—has generated, as I’m sure you know, a good deal of controversy. For his defenders, Padre Serra was an intrepid evangelist and a model of Gospel living, while for his detractors, he was a shameless advocate of an oppressive colonial system that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Indians. Even many who typically back Pope Francis see this canonization as a rare faux pas for the Argentine Pontiff. What should we make of all this?

It might first be wise to rehearse some of the basic facts of Serra’s life. He was born in 1713 on the beautiful island of Mallorca off of the Spanish coast, and as a very young man, he joined a particularly severe branch of the Franciscan order. He quickly became a star in the community, recognized for his impressive intellectual gifts and his profound spirituality. After many years of study, he earned his doctorate in philosophy and commenced a teaching career, which culminated in his receiving the Duns Scotus Chair of philosophy. But when Padre Serra was thirty-six, he resolved to abandon his relatively comfortable life and promising career and become a missionary in the New World. He undertook this mission out of a sincere and deeply-felt desire to save souls, knowing full well that he would likely never return to his homeland. After spending a few years in Mexico City doing administrative work, he realized his dream to work with the native peoples of New Spain, first in Mexico and then in what was then called Baja California (Lower California). When he was around fifty years old, he was asked by his superiors to lead a missionary endeavor in Alta California, more or less the present day state of California. With the help of a small band of Franciscan brothers and under the protection of the Spanish government, he established a series of missions along the Pacific coast, from San Diego to San Francisco.  He died in 1784 and was buried at the San Carlos Borromeo Mission in Carmel by the Sea.

Much of the disagreement regarding Junípero Serra hinges upon the interpretation of the mission project that he undertook. Though it is certainly true that the Imperial Spanish authorities had an interest in establishing a strong Spanish presence along the Pacific coast in order to block the intrusion of Russian settlers in the region, there is no doubt that Serra’s first intention in setting up the missions was to evangelize the native peoples. What fired his heart above all was the prospect of announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who had never before heard it, and there is no question that his missions provided the institutional framework for that proclamation. Moreover, the missions were places where the Indians were taught the principles of agriculture and animal husbandry, which enabled them to move beyond a merely nomadic lifestyle. I find it fascinating, by the way, that there was nothing even vaguely analogous to these missions on the other side of the continent. Though by our standards they treated the native people in a rather patronizing manner, the Spanish evangelized and instructed the Indians, whereas the British settlers in the American colonies more or less pushed them out of the way.

Critics of Serra’s project claim that Indians were compelled to join the missions, essentially as a slave labor force, and were baptized against their will. The consensus of responsible historians, however, is that both of these charges are false. In fact, the vast majority of the Indians recognized the advantage of living in connection with the missions, and only about 10% of those who had come to missions opted to leave. To be sure, those who left were hunted down and, upon their return, were sometimes subjected to corporal punishment. Indeed, there is real evidence that Padre Serra countenanced such violence: in one of his letters, he speaks of the need to punish wayward Indians the way a parent would chastise a recalcitrant child, and in another document, he authorizes the purchase of shackles for the mission in San Diego. Certainly from our more enlightened perspective, we would recognize such behavior as morally wrong, and it is no good trying to whitewash the historical record so as to present Serra as blameless.

Having acknowledged this, however, it is most important to note that the lion’s share of the evidence we have strongly indicates that Serra was a steadfast friend to the native peoples, frequently defending them against the violence and prejudice of the Spanish civil authorities. Very much in the spirit of Bartolomé de Las Casas, the great sixteenth-century defender of the Indians, Serra insisted, again and again, upon the rights and prerogatives of the native tribes. In one case, he spoke out against the execution of an Indian who had killed one of Serra’s own friends and colleagues, arguing that the whole point of his mission was to save life, not to take it. As Archbishop Jose Gomez has argued, this represents one of the first principled arguments against capital punishment ever to appear in Western culture.

One might ask why Pope Francis—who certainly knows all of the controversy surrounding Padre Serra—wants to push ahead with this canonization. He does so, I would speculate, for two reasons. First, he understands that declaring someone a saint is not to declare him or her morally flawless, nor is it to countenance every institution with which the saint was associated. Secondly and more importantly, he sees Junípero Serra as someone who, with extraordinary moral courage, went to the periphery of the society of his time in order to announce Jesus Christ. Serra could have pursued a very respectable career in the comfortable halls of European academy; but he opted to go, at great personal cost, to the margins—and this makes him an extraordinary model of a Pope Francis style missionary.

Was Padre Serra perfect? By no means. Was he a saint?  Absolutely.

Reprinted with permission

Rev-RobertBarronBishop-Elect Robert Barron is the the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award winning documentary about the Catholic Faith. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America (1982) and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris (1992).

He has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He has also appeared on several media outlets including NBC, PBS, FOX News, CNN, and EWTN. His website,, has reached over 3.8 million people and his weekly YouTube videos have been viewed over nine million times. 

On July 21, 2015, Pope Francis announced his appointment as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

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  1. 色は、この腕時計で新しいことを唯一のものでない:リンデやり直しのダイヤルを持って、5層からなる上部層、さらに白骨化されている。この月のより多くの相は10、11時位置で着用者によって見られるのを許します。また、lwなくなると彼らは合金リンデと呼んでいますが、「航空宇宙材料」を作成しました(または「alw」)。その音は少しあるかもしれない間、リンデによってチタンの半分の重さと鋼の強度が2倍になった。材料は、以前は「無色」の形で使用されているが、リンデの白い背景の上に、光を吸収するとタコの色を変更する方法を模倣することを意図します。我々がどのようにすべての人にこれを翻訳するのを見ます、しかし、それは本当ですが、リンデの商標の角の場合このクールでむしろ衝撃的に見えます、薄い灰色の色。

  2. 多分、それlum-tecプッシャーのブライトリングのような洗練された技術を使用します。を見るために、ここを読む方法を使用して作成するブライトリング磁石の接触の密売人にそのアベンジャーシーウルフクロノグラフ腕時計。私は、この概念は、内部のリングを回転させるはずのクラウンの設計に変換することができるかどうかわかっていません、しかし、それは彼らのために良いスタートであるかもしれません。もう一つのアプローチは、ヘビーデューティのガスケットのシステムの1つの地獄を使うことです。この時計の開発として、我々は必然的にlum-tecの賢い解決のより良い考えを得ます。

  3. クロノグラフの完全な12時間を測定するbiコンパックスクロノグラフである。腕時計を持って秒針が動作していないことを意味します、あなたはすべての時間、クロノグラフ機能を持っていない限り。ダイヤルは、下位ダイヤルを取り入れるために再設計されました、そして最終的には完全に対称形である。カルティエの移動分スケールリングアウトがフランジリングを以前に裸の毛羽仕上げの金属仕上げで。この時計の外観と変化はより大きく見え、ダイヤルすることの効果があります。ダイヤルは現在より大きいことが、より個別のアワーマーカー、半分のローマ数字と半分のバトンマーカーの形を再び取るカリフォルニアダイヤル?のこのカルティエのバージョンです)。あなたはダイヤルの上に装飾の同じタイプがあります、しかし、すべて感じの接地に対称形のデザインを与えられます。 カルティエ 時計コピー の「拡張」と日付ウインドウを保持したが、それは6時に移動しました。すべてのすべてで、私はダイヤルの多くが好きです、しかし、1つのカルティエは、少しあまりに短される主の手に設計さを感じます。

  4. プロジェクトZ8腕時計はもうひとつのユニークな機能:第二のタイムゾーンのレトログラード表示通常しか時計方向に校正、その金の腕時計によって表冠位置の付加クラッチシステム、第二のタイムゾーンのレトログラード機能実現双方向校正。スーパーコピー時計この項のデザインを大幅に便利と縮めた校正ステップ。この腕時計の復雑なムーブメントは281の部品、32宝石、シリコン素材平面糸遊や新しいデザインの透かし彫りプラチナ振り子陀構成を飾りジュネーヴマーク環状波紋を目撃証言したブランドの精卓工芸。

  5. 多くの探検家選択を探検装備のボル表、今度は究極の腕時計を探検運動。FiremanストームChaser腕時計も獲得しアメリカ竜巻研究家の胡文博士の同情。この黒い表面の腕時計をして新しい多機能クロノ発揮はクロノメーターのほか、余分に提供した速度計と距離計の実用的な機能になるとなり、勇敢な「群れ者”たちの装備の一つ。スーパーコピーまた以前発表したEngineer DiverⅡGMTも登場し、この採用DLCめっきとアナログ時計バンドの限界潜水しジオン·乃瑞潜など113メートルの深海、再び世界記録を破った素手で潜水。そのマイナス40度抗低温の能力も確保でき、潜水勇士寒い深海で正確な時間を把握する。


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