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Saint Junipero Serra
Miguel Jose Serra knew early in his life that the Catholic Faith was of great importance. The Franciscan way surrounded his childhood and soon became his own way of life. On September 15, 1731 Miguel Jose took his final vows, with in a Franciscan order, and chose the name Junipero.
Tending to his studies in theology, Serra received a doctorate in 1742. Sometime after that, his zeal for spreading the gospel would call him to a life of greater poverty and became a missionary to the Indian population in America. Upon his arrival, in late 1749, his assignments lead him to encounter the people and meet them where they were. St. Junipero dedicated time to learn the Otomi language in order to better serve the community and further strengthen his call to evangelic work. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit and many years of hard labor, Serra established nine missions, which spread over the east coast of modern day California.
His devotion to God, preaching the gospel, as well as his zeal for evangelization, is what defined his sainthood and makes him the ideal patron Saint for the Institute. Following his model of teaching the institute is blessed to present an array of tracks and courses, in order to meet ministry volunteers and laity where they are and educate them in the Faith. Equally, we pray that the zeal of St. Junipero Serra will embody and assisting those who teach the gospel.
Bishop Robert Barron on the Canonization of Junípero Serra
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