Blessed Junipero Serra

“In Fray Juniper Serra, a priest of the Order of Friars Minor, we find a shining example of Christian virtue and the missionary spirit. His great goal was to bring the Gospel to the Native Peoples of America, so that they too might be “consecrated in the truth.” For many years he devoted himself to this task in Mexico, in the Sierra Gorda, and in California. He sowed the seeds of Christian faith amid the momentous changes wrought by the arrival of European settlers in the New World. It was a field of missionary endeavor that required patience, perseverance and humility, as well as vision and courage. Relying on the divine power of the message he proclaimed, Father Serra led the Native Peoples to Christ. He was well aware of their heroic virtues — as exemplified in the life of Blessed [sic. now St] Kateri Tekakwitha — and he sought to further their authentic human development on the basis of their new-found faith as per sons created and redeemed by God. He also had to admonish the powerful, in the spirit of our second reading from James, not to abuse and exploit the poor and the weak. In fulfilling this ministry, Father Serra showed himself to be a true son of Saint Francis. Today, his example inspires in a particular way the many Serra Clubs throughout the world, the members of which do so much praiseworthy work in fostering vocations.” (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Commentarium Officiale, 165-166.)

O God,
Who by your ineffable mercy
have been pleased through the labors
of your priest Blessed Junípero Serra
to count many American peoples
within your Church,
grant by his intercession
that we may so join our hearts to you in love,
as to carry always and everywhere before all people
the image of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen