Saint Junipero Serra
Founder of the California Missions

St Junipero Serra - The long dusty, desolate road to  California!Santa Barbara Mission founded by Blessed Junipero Serra

         When Junipero Serra arrived at his new post, the 40,000 Indians reported by the Jesuits were now a mere 8,000.  Serra, who loved the Indians dearly, described them as a handsome people.  But sadly, the huts were so poor and conditions so deplorable, 1000 Indians were dying each year, and the death rate of infants 100%.  It is believed that Indian women were purposely aborting their babies rather than have them starve to death.  Disease finished off those Indians who did not die of starvation.  Father Palóu prophesied, if conditions remained as they were, Baja would be left without a single soul.  Father Serra's year here, which had begun with so much enthusiasm, ended with disappointment.  At first, not in keeping with the other missions in Mexico, the missionaries were to have a say in only the spiritual aspects of the missions.  When the newly appointed inspector general saw the impossible conditions, he most willingly handed over all the responsibility to Father Serra and the missionaries.  No sooner did Serra begin to work on change, than he was summoned to engage in the evangelization of what was called then Alta California (or California).

          In 1769, when Friar Junípero Serra had been transferred to Baja or lower California, although man thought it was for him to run the fifteen missions seized from the Jesuits, God had another idea.  Father Serra was informed, barely one year after having arrived in Baja that he was to pioneer the settlement of missions in Alta or upper California. 

          On July 1, 1769, he arrived in San Diego, and on July 2nd, he celebrated the first Mass in what is now known as the famous California Missions.  He was 56 and the biggest challenge of his life faced him, all that he had received in education, all the spiritual preparations he had made, the austerities he had practiced most of his life would be for this one act, this his last gift to the Lord and His Mother.  California would be consecrated, every hill, valley, mountain, village, every street would be blessed.  

I shall not turn back!

          It took Father Junipero Serra almost twenty years, from the time he was first summoned to come to the New World and serve in the missions, before he got to his first California Mission in San Diego, in what is today the State of California.  Those twenty years prior to arriving at San Diego were at times a painful prelude, filled with joy and sorrows, readying him for his biggest challenge, setting up missions a day's walk apart up the coast of California.  The missionary who worked furtively his last years on earth was tired and more dead than alive.  When one of his companions begged him to stop, his legs so badly swollen and in pain that he could not celebrate Mass standing, Father Serra refused saying,

          "Please do not speak of that, for I trust that if God will give me the strength to reach San Diego, as He has given me the strength to come this far, I shall not turn back.  They can bury me wherever they wish and I shall gladly be left among the pagans, if it be the Will of God." 

          It had taken him almost three months to reach San Diego from Baja California.  Half dead, most of the time, he never turned back!

          December 26, 1770, Father Junipero Serra performed his first baptism in California.  In addition to San Diego and San Carlos del Carmel, Father Serra went on to found San Antonio de Padua in July, 1771; San Gabriel in September, 1771; San Luis Obispo in September, 1772; San Francisco in October, 1776; San Juan Capistrano in January, 1777; and San Buenaventura in March 1782.


[2]Marin county, California


Saint Junipero Serra dvd

Apostle of California
Founder of the California Missions
Taped at the California Missions
Pope Benedict XVI
"Take courage! Fix your gaze on our saints."

Visit the California Missions, the legacy of Saint Junipero Serra, apostle of California.
Learn of his great love for the Missions and the Natives of the new world. 

Walk through his early priesthood in Mallorca, Spain, to the missions of Mexico, and then to the Missions of California.

Come with us to the  Mission Santa Barbara, then on to San Juan Capistrano, where we meet some of the natives from that area and speak to the people at that shrine.

Finally, we visit his Shrine at Carmel Mission, where he is buried, and his his cell and tomb are open for the public to venerate him there.  

Learn why he is called the Apostle of California, and of the California Missions.

Watch preview of dvd


ISBN 1-58002-020-8 $19.95
Our prices explained

For English DVD click below

Blessed Junipero Serra minibook

Bl. Junipero Serra
#BK127 - $4.95
plus shipping

Minibook - 28 pages

For Spanish DVD click below

CD 127 - Just Released
Blessed Junipero Serra -  $4.95

Special Offer
Journey to Sainthood Book plus
Bl Junipero Serra DVD for $27.95
Save $16%

Viewer Comments: Dear Bob and Penny:
I love your show!  You are so informed on all of the wonderful people, who have served Our Lord through the ages.  They all defended the Faith, and served with their lives for the love of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They  are truly God’s superheroes.
The pilgrimages that you have taken and have shown on your programs have inspired me to want to go on pilgrimages.  Someday, I would love to go to Mexico to visit Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I have seen copy of the tilma of Juan Diego, at a local church here in California.  It was truly beautiful.
Living in California, I have visited some of the California Missions.  I consider that a sort of pilgrimage as well.  I do hope they make Bl. Junipera Serra a Saint soon.  And thank you for clearing up the story that the Franciscan Friars did not force the Chumash Indians into Christianity. That was something I had heard about for so long.  I just did not want to believe that falsehood.
Anyway, thank you again for your wonderful programs, and keep up the great work.
God Bless you both,
C. K.  CA



Related Items


Saint Vincent de Paul CD

Super Saints Book I - Journey to Sainthood book


       Super Saints Trilogy Book I
             Journey to Sainthood
Saints who lived for Christ


Bl. Junipero Serra His last ounce of blood shed for the Church, he loved and brought to the Native Americans, he died as he lived, praying for those he was leaving behind.
St. Frances (Mother) Cabrini Pope Leo XIII told her. "Your mission will be in America to help the Italians and make your country loved." Mother Cabrini said, "Yes!"
St. Paschal Baylon Proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII Patron of Eucharistic Congresses, he was never ordained a Priest.
St. Leopold Mandic Although he would be considered imperfect today (barely 4' 6") this Saint of Reconciliation brought about consolation and hope to thousands.
St. Dominic Watchdog of God - He fought the Albigensianist heresy - Our Lady gave him the Rosary with the mandate to spread it to all her children.
St. Angela Merici I want to become a Saint, because I love Jesus. She had visions of Heaven, of Jesus, as well as the devil. She battled the Protestant Revolt with education.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton A faithful daughter - a loving wife and mother - an obedient Nun - a lover of the Eucharist and Mother Mary - a role model for today
Bl. Frederic Thanks to him, Our Lady of the Cap Shrine became the meeting ground for every kind of physical and moral distress. The sick found healing; sinners were filled with remorse.Code BJS               224 pages           Many Photos
ISBN 1-58002-132-8            $13.95

Those that purchased the items above
also purchased items below.
Click desired icon(s) below.

Journey to Sainthood dvds

Introductory Offer
Journey to Sainthood Series
All 7 DVDs below in English
Normal Retail $140
Get all 7 for $119 - SAVE 15%

Enter you name and email to subscribe
 to our events notifications.
Conferences, Pilgrimages, Retreats and other Events

We will not share your information with anyone, ever.
First Name


Journeys of Faith®
PO Box 845
Morrilton, AR 72110
Toll Free 1-800-633-2484
FAX 1-501-354-1783
Phone 1-501-354-6100

If you would like to have us mail you our catalog, click the link above and
send us your name, address and phone number.