California fourth-graders study U.S. history and Blessed Junipero Serra during a visit to a historic mission site. Watch the video here.
The Spanish missions in Alta California comprise a series of 21 religious and military outposts; established by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833 to spread Christianity among the indigineous people. Father Junipero Serra founded the first nine missions.
On Nov. 24, 1713, Miquel José Serra was born in the island town of Petra, Mallorca, off the coast of Spain. His parents were deeply religious and Miquel attended a Catholic school in town run by members of the Franciscan order. The Franciscans were founded by St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was known for his devotion to the poor. Miquel was a bright boy and his teachers encouraged him to further his studies in the capital city, Palma. There Serra flourished and through studying and working at the cathedral decided to join the Franciscans and study to become a priest.