- James D. Smith
Serra, Junipero (24 November 1713–28 August 1784), Roman Catholic missionary, was born Miguel José Serra in Petra on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the son of Antonio Serra and Margarita Ferrer, farmers. His parents, poor and without formal education, enrolled him in a Franciscan primary school. At age fifteen Serra traveled to the Mallorcan capital, Palma, to study philosophy and theology at the Convento de San Francisco. In 1731, following a year of training, Serra joined the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) and took the religious name Junipero. In this he identified with the original Junipero, a companion of St. Francis whose simplicity and good humor were exemplary....