Father Junipero Serra
You all have probably had the pleasure of sipping from a Spanish bota bag at some time in your lives. These bags were flexible during the fermentation process and could be delivered directly to the consumer. The first California wine critic was a French visitor to Los Angeles who noted that the Mission grapes were good, but frontier winemaking techniques were not. An important contribution of the Mission grape was to prove that grapes could be grown in the coastal regions of California.
The Mission in San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded in , but after many fires and other obstacles, finally completed in The mission population reached its peak at It was the 16th of the 21 missions. Both missions had extensive lands and specialized in animal breeding. Vineyards were planted with Mission grape vines also and tended by the Padres.
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Saint Junipero Serra
Related Posts. JB on January 21, at am. During the walk Serra was bitten on his left foot by a zancudo. It soon became swollen and he complained about a "burning itch". This caused him serious problems on his journey to the capital of New Spain. Soon after Serra arrived at the College of San Fernando de Mexico , he was told that recently four priests had died while working for the missions in Sierra Gorda , a rugged mountain area about miles north-east of Mexico City. Don Denevi , the author of Junipero Serra , points out: "During the eight years and three months Serra spent as a missionary in the sierra, he laboured for improvement in conditions for the Indians.
He realized that the more progress the missions made economically, the more stable and successful would be his religious ministrations. Through the college, he obtained oxen, cows, asses, sheep, goats, and farm implements. Blankets and clothing sent from Mexico City were provided as encouragement for their labours As time went on, the Indians were presented with their own parcels of land on which to grow corn, beans, and pumpkins. Some were given oxen and seeds for planting.
Women were taught spinning, knitting, and sewing. Serra encouraged the Indians to broaden their commercial activity by selling their wares in Zimapan, a ming center less than fifty miles away.
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He thought the best way of protecting and expanding his control of this region was to dispatch additional missionaries and colonizers. Since the beginning of the century, Jesuits had been working in the Americas. Don Denevi argues: "For seventy years, more than six hundred Jesuits had toiled in Baja California, steadily moving northward, evangelizing everyone in their path, never abandoning a mission. With patience and devoted zeal, they had accomplished what Cortes had been unable to do with the sword - Spanish domination over the native populations.
In January , he issued a so-called Pragmatic Sanction, which limited considerably the privileges of the religious orders in Spain. This was seen as an attempt to reduce the power of the Pope and the Church.
The Jesuits were extremely hostile to this move and the king claimed they were behind attempts to assassinate him. All their possessions were also confiscated. The king also wanted the Jesuits removed from territories he controlled in the Americas. Seize the persons of all of them and within twenty-four hours transport them as prisoners to the port of Vera Cruz If after the embarkation there should be found one Jesuit in that district, even if ill or dying, you should suffer the penalty of death.
When the Jesuits rebelled against this persecution, he dealt severely with the rebels, hanging the leaders. The viceroy defended his actions by claiming that: "It is done It was also agreed that the missionaries should push on quickly into Alta California in order to build a chain of missions that would stop other countries to try and colonise this territory. When asked to organise this campaign, the College of San Fernando de Mexico unanimously selected Junipero Serra, to carry out this task.
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On 14th March, , Serra and his small group of 15 missionaries left the port of San Blas on the small ship, Concepcion. The missionaries reached Loreto, two hundred miles up the east coast of Baja California on 1st April.
It was also agreed to send two parties to make an overland journey from the Baja to Alta California. The other two ships left on 15th February. With him was Father Juan Crespi , who had been given the task of recording details of the trip. Also in the party were 25 soldiers, and 42 Baju Christian Indians. Serra, accompanied by two others, left on 1st April, Dionisio Basterra, was all alone at the mission. When Fernando Rivera Moncada had passed through he had requisitioned his interpreter, servant and guard. Serra remained with Basterra for five days.
Serra wrote: "My special affection for this excellent missionary detained me here for the next two days which for me were very delightful by reason of his amiable conversation and manners. He was amazed that they were able to survive in the conditions. There was little water and virtually no arable land or pasture. Serra commented: "I praised the Lord, and kissed the earth, giving thanks to the Divine Majesty that after desiring this for so many years, He granted me the favour of being among the pagans in their own land. Serra later recorded: "Then I saw what I could hardly begin to believe when I read about it or was told about it, namely that they go about entirely naked like Adam in paradise before the fall.
Thus they went about and thus they presented themselves to us Although they saw all of us clothed, they nevertheless showed not the least trace of shame in their manner of nudity. He built a camp and waited for the others to arrive. The San Antonio, reached its destination in fifty-four days. The seaman on the ships suffered from scurvy and large numbers had died on the journey.
He was now having serious problems walking: "It was only with great difficulty that I could remain on my feet because my left foot had become very inflamed, a painful condition Now this inflammation has reached halfway up the leg. It is swollen and the sores are inflamed. For this reason the days during which I was detained there I spent the greater part in bed. Even though I might die on the way, 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.
Serra received treatment from one of the soldiers, Juan Antonio Coronel.
He heated some tallow and green desert herbs and spread the mixture over Serra's foot and leg. At present my sore foot is as clean as the well one. This day we proceeded for about four hours with very little water for the animals and without any pasture, which obliged us to go on farther in the afternoon to find some.
There was, however, no water. On 26th May, some of the party's Christian Indians, captured a man who had been following them along the route. Serra immediately ordered the man to be released and fed him with figs, meat, tortillas and atole a thin porridge of corn and wheat. He told them his name was Axajui and that he was a member of a tribe who were planning to ambush and kill the missionaries and soldiers.
Axajui was sent back to inform his people of the good treatment he had received. The strategy worked as they were allowed to continue on their journey unharmed. Serra also recorded that a few days later they were approached by a couple of women: "I desired for the present not to see them fearing that they went naked like the men When I saw them so decently clothed I was not sorry at their arrival They were talking as rapidly and effectively as this sex knows how and is accustomed to.
As the expedition moved on through the month of June, the terrain became gradually more attractive. Serra noted at Santa Petronilla that the land was "so loaded with grapes that it is a thing to marvel at. I believe that with a little labour of pruning them, the vines would produce much excellent fruit.
That night they arrived on the shores of Ensenada. Serra commented: Here, if the water could be properly utilized, great plantings could be made and enough water was at hand to supply a city. On 23rd June the party met a large party of Native Americans. Serra records: "The people were healthy and well built, affable, and of happy disposition. They were quick, bright people, who immediately repeated all the Spanish words they heard.
They danced for the party, offered fish and mussels, and pressed them to remain We were all enamored of them. In fact, all the pagans have pleased me, but these in particular have stolen my heart. He arrived back on 28th June, with news that the last leg of the journey was extremely difficult due to the hundreds of gullies they still had to cross. Junipero Serra later recalled: "It was a day of great rejoicing and merriment for all, because although each one in his respective journey had undergone the same hardships, their meeting through their mutual alleviation from hardship now became the material for mutual accounts of their experiences.
And although this sort of consolation appears to be the solace of the miserable, for us it was the source of happiness. Thus was our arrival in health and happiness and contentment at the famous and desired Port of San Diego. Junipero Serra was impressed with the area. As Don Denevi , the author of Junipero Serra , has pointed out: "Reconnoitering the grassy plains around Presidio Hill where the expedition was encamped, the padres noted that fresh water and arable land were plentiful.
Fields could be sown with grain, fruits, and vegetables. Willow, popular, and sycamore trees dotted the river banks. Wild grapevines, asparagus, and acorns grew in abundance. Deer, antelope, quail, and hares were abundant, as were the more ferocious wolves, bears, and coyotes. In addition to the abundance of food on land, the Indians, from rafts made of tules, fished for sole, tuna, and sardines and gathered mussels. The following day, they marched to what is now known as Santa Monica. The fog obscured the shore and they therefore missed reaching Monterey Bay. Serra wrote about his motivation for the Franciscans establishing these missions: "Above all, let those who are to come here as missionaries not imagine that they are coming for any other purpose but to endure hardships for the love of God and the salvation of souls, for in far-off places such as these, where there is no way for the old missions to help the new ones because of the great distance between them, the presence of pagans, and the lack of communication by sea, it will be necessary in the beginning to suffer many real privations.
The settlement was close to a Kumeyaay village. Tracy Salcedo-Chouree, the author of California's Missions and Presidios , has pointed out that their "natural suspicion flowered into animosity when the soldiers began raping their women and stealing their food. One of the Spanish settlers was killed during the raid.
Junipero Serra recorded what happened: "He entered into my little hut with so much blood streaming from his temples and mouth that shortly after I gave him absolution And it was just a short time after he died before me that the little hut where I lived became a sea of blood. All during this time, the exchange of shots from the firearms and arrows continued. Only four men of our group fired while more than twenty of theirs shot arrows. I continued to stay with the departed one, thinking over the imminent probability of following him myself, yet, I kept begging God to give victory to our Holy Catholic faith without the loss of a single soul.
The battle for San Diego , the first in the Spanish settlement of California , changed the relationship between the settlers and the Kumeyaay. They now became more peaceful and began revisiting the camp, bringing along their wounded, probably hoping that Spanish remedies would prove as powerful as Spanish arms. Don Pedro Prat , who had received some medical training, did what he could do to help the wounded men brought to the settlement. He explored and named many localities in the region.
Running short of provisions and forced to live on mule meat, they decided to return to San Diego to replenish supplies. The men arrived back on 24th January, , remarkably, every member of the expedition had survived. A three-man party was sent out to explore the rocky coast south to Carmel Bay. A few days later the San Antonio arrived in the bay. The journey had been slow and difficult. He left forty men in charge of Spain's latest settlement.
Junipero Serra remained in Monterey. Carlos Francisco de Croix wrote that Serra: "The President of those missions, who is destined to serve in Monterey, states in a very detailed way and with particular joy that the Indians are affable. They have already promised him to bring their children to be instructed in the mysteries of how holy Catholic religion.
Five days later he found a site for Mission San Antonio de Padua. The local Indians showed friendship by bringing seeds and acorns. Serra reciprocated with strings of beads and food made from corn and beans. Serra's assistant, Father Juan Crespi , disliked the "foggy" climate of the Monterey area. Serra agreed that he could return to San Diego. A few months later he wrote to Serra claiming he was missing his friend and the "daily treks between Carmel and Monterey".
Serra agreed his return.
Pope Francis Should Not Be Canonizing Junipero Serra - Pacific Standard
In August , the supply ships had difficulty getting to Monterey. No one, however, desires to leave his mission. The fact is, labours or no labours, there are several souls in heaven from Monterey, San Antonio, and San Diego. Eventually, Serra took a party down to San Diego , a mile journey, to bring back food. It was named after Saint Louis of Anjou , the bishop of Toulouse. Serra left Father Cavaller, a four-man guard, and two Baju California Indians, at the mission and moved on.
The party was attacked by a Chumash tribe in the San Luis Valley. Fages and his men fought off the warriors, and to Serra's distress, one of them were killed. They safely got to San Diego and managed to arrange a supply ship to Monterey. Serra had a difficult relationship with Pedro Fages , the commander of Monterey. He was also disliked by his troops. One soldier wrote that: "The commandante used to beat us with cudgels; he would force us to buy from him at three times their value, the figs and raisins in which he was trading; he would make sick men go and cut down trees in the rain and would deprive them of their supper, if they protested; he would put us all on half rations even though food might be rotting in the storehouse.
We had to live on rats, coyotes, vipers, crows, and generally every creature that moved on the earth, except beetles, to keep from starvation. We almost all became herbivorous, eating raw grass like our horses. How many times we wished we were six feet under ground. He left in October , with his servant, Juan Evangelista. Bucareli asked Serra to put all his requests in writing. He gave the viceroy this document on 13th March. It was in fact a "Bill of Rights" for the Native Americans.
Serra also asked for the removal of Pedro Fages. Bucareli granted the request. He later commented: "The dispute with Don Pedro Fages On his arrival I listened to him with the greatest pleasure and I realized the apostolic zeal that animated him while I accepted from his ideas those measures which appeared proper to me to carry out.
Don Denevi , the author of Junipero Serra , has argued: "Serra could reflect on a number of achievements: the promise of expeditions to explore and open up overland routes from Sonora and new Mexico; the separate marking of mission and military goods; the removal of immoral soldiers from the missions at the padres' request; the regulation of prices and standardization of weights; the recruiting of Mexicans on sailors' pay to the missions' fields; the protection of the padres' mail from tampering by military commanders; the provision of a doctor, blacksmiths, and carpenters, and of bells and vestments for the new missions; serious consideration of the shortage of mules; and pardons for all deserters.
Serra returned to Carmel in September He was now nearly sixty years old and in poor health.
He had decided that he would never return to Spain to see his family: "California is my life and there, God willing, I hope to die. I hope all of you do the same for me so that the Lord may assist me amid the perils of a naked and barbarous people. This included two doctors, three blacksmiths, and two carpenters, some with wives and children. Serra believed this would enable him to build a permanent Spanish community in this part of California.
Serra left at San Diego and walked the rest of the journey to Monterey so that he could see for himself the progress that his missions were making. When he left, there had been twenty-two baptisms since the founding of the mission; on his return, the total was one hundred seventy four. Serra was extremely happy about the progress that had been made in his absence.
In a letter he wrote on 24th August, , Serra explained that: "Every day Indians are coming in from distant homes in the Sierra They tell the padres they would like them to come to their territory.
Pope Francis Should Not Be Canonizing Junipero Serra
They see our church which stands before their eyes so neatly; they see the milpas with corn which are pretty to behold; they see so many children as well as people like themselves going about clothed who sing and eat well and work. Serra encouraged the Spanish sailors and soldiers to marry local women.
He wrote that three of them had done so and that three others were considering the prospect. If they colonised the area, they received two years' pay and food rations for five years for themselves and their families. Serra believed that unless colonists began to live permanently near the mission, the missions would never become formal settlements. E has argued: "In his letters, whether to the governors, the guardians of the College of San Fernando, or the viceroys, Serra was the epitome of sincerity and candor.
Frank, open, clear, direct, he came straight to the point, his scholastic training and habits of logical thinking manifesting themselves from the first line to the last. When he wanted to establish a thesis, as he often did, his letters suggest the precision of a military commander deploying his troops in advantageous positions, his paragraphs proceeding in meticulous formation like companies of infantry on the march.
Junipero Serra, who had worked with Rivera previously, welcomed the decision. Michael Hardwick has argued: "Rivera showed the most scrupulous honesty in administering presidio accounts. His penmanship was firm and distinguished. His ideas were expressed economically and with conviction in a terse and businesslike style. While governor of California, Rivera made every effort to improve the material conditions of the presidio of Monterey.
He pleaded for more animals — more cows for milk and meat, more horses and mules to haul supplies from ships to the warehouse, to distribute them among the missions, and to patrol the vast territory. Rivera tried to secure better weapons and worked out a signal system in order to distinguish Spanish ships from hostile intruders. He insisted on regular attendance at religious services and attended regularly himself at the Monterey presidio chapel.
However, it was not long before the relationship between Rivera and Serra began to disintegrate. The main problem was that Rivera did not share Serra's passion for building new missions in the area. Serra wrote: "What are we doing here since it is plain that with this man in charge, no new missions will ever be established. Beyond was San Luis Obispo de Tolosa , another 75 miles to the south.
The next mission was San Gabriel Arcangel , miles away. Serra argued that these gaps needed filling in. He envisioned ten or eleven California missions being developed in his lifetime, "on a ladder with conveniently placed rungs". With missions founded at suitable intervals, travellers would spend only two or three days in the open between them.
Serra was given permission to build these missions but Rivera refused to supply the soldiers to protect the missionaries. Rivera argued that: "I have never seen a priest more zealous for founding missions than this Father President.
He thinks of nothing but founding missions, no matter how or at what expense they are established. Kevin Starr defended Serra in his book, California : "Serra's constant quarreling with the military governors of California reflects not only legitimate points of contention - the chronic sexual abuse of Indian women by soldiers, most notably - but also the fundamental tension between Spanish California as a missionary society reporting to the Franciscans and California as a secular society reporting to the military governor.
Serra also complained about lack of resources. He wrote that: "To clothe the nakedness of so many girls and boys, women and men, even moderately, not only to protect them from the cold, which is quite severe here during the greater part of the year, but also to foster decency and urbanity especially among the weaker sex, I am confronted with an almost insuperable difficulty.