No items found.
All Blogs
May 17, 2024

Junipero Serra: A Call to Mission

May 17, 2024
Read Time: 
Table of Contents

The Bright Young Professor

At a provincial university in Majorca, an island in the Mediterranean and part of Spain, a young Franciscan professor dreamed of the good he could do. He was intelligent, driven, and personable, and inspired admiration in his students; he had the makings of a promising academic career. His own heart, however, was set on being a missionary. In order to realize his hopes, Junípero Serra will have to learn to trust his friends - and God. 

A Missionary Heart

After many years teaching in Majorca, Junípero was finally given the opportunity to pursue missionary work in New Spain. He left his home and family in Majorca to seek the mission - but he didn’t leave alone. Two of his former students, Juan Crespi and Francisco Palou, also Franciscans, joined him to become missionaries. They each brought their own strengths and unique perspectives to this mission. But they shared a dream - to be out in the wilderness of the frontier, carving crosses and bringing Christ to those who had not met him before. 

The New Spain where they were arriving in was far different from the adventurous missionary frontier it had been several centuries before. Rather, it was a well-developed Spanish colony with several faraway mission outposts. When they arrived, Junípero and his companions were shocked to discover the level of abuse that was taking place at the hands of the Spanish administration. They did their best to put an end to it with the help of Gaspar de Portola, the Spanish military officer who had accompanied them on their journey.

Struggles of the Apostolate

Not long after their arrival at their first mission, reports reached Junípero and his companions of a Comanche raid which had taken place in the faraway region of Texas. In response, the missions were put on hold, and Junípero and his friends found themselves doing administrative work and caring for the Church in Mexico City. They did not complain; rather, they put themselves into their work, focusing on growing the Church and its mission. After ten years, Junípero, Juan, and Francisco were finally tasked with participating in the mission again - this time, heading up the coast to Baja California. They were joined by Portola and set out on their journey, full of trust in God and the Holy Spirit.

Up The Coast!

The journey was not easy - but with their trust in each other and in God, the missionaries were successful beyond their wildest dreams. This week on The Saints: Adventures of Faith and Courage, Junípero Serra and his companions learn that missionary life isn't all about glamorous success. Follow them on every step of their journey, from the peaceful island of Majorca to the wildness of New Spain. Listen this week on as they learn - following God through all the twists and turns of life - that their big dreams might just pay off. 

Get Notified

Subscribe to receive the latest updates on our shows and company news.