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Statue of Father Junipero Serra as monument at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1929
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
University of Southern California. Libraries
Contributing Institution
California Historical Society
University of Southern California Digital Library
California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960
Rights Information
Doheny Memorial Library, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0189
Public Domain. Release under the CC BY Attribution license-- both “University of Southern California. Libraries” and “California Historical Society” as the source. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library; From the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California
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Photograph of a statue of Father Junipero Serra as monument at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1929. His right arm is raised in the air while his left encircles the shoulder of a small Indian. The statue is on top of a tall stone pedestal located in a garden. Benches are visible behind the foliage at right. Further back are the buildings of the mission. Father Junipero Serra (Miguel Jose Serra) was one of the most important Spanish missionaries in the New World. Born in Majorca on November 24, 1713, he joined the Franciscan Order at the age of 16. He soon gained prominence as an eloquent preacher and eventually became a professor of theology. His dream was to become a missionary to America. He arrived in Mexico City in 1750 to begin this new life. In 1769 he established a mission at the present site of San Diego, California, the first of a number that would include San Antonio, San Buenaventura, San Carlos, San Francisco de Assisi, San Gabriel, San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara. This was a herculean task considering that Father Serra was already in his fifties and suffered from a chronic ulcerated condition in one leg. Serra was ascetic and uncompromising in his zeal to convert the Indians to Christianity and to make his missions self sufficient. Inhabitants built their own homes, spun wool for garments, and pursued careers as masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, and millers
thousands of barrels of grain were kept in reserve supply, and herds of cattle, sheep, horses, and swine were maintained. The ulcerated condition of Serra's leg eventually spread to his chest. At the age of 71, aware of his deterioration, he made a final visit to his missions. The well-known and beloved missionary died in Monterey, California, on August 28, 1784
his missions continued to flourish for another 50 years (according to Architect of the Capitol, Office of the Curator).
4 photographs : photonegative, photoprints, b&w
20 x 25 cm.
negatives (photographic)
photographic prints
USC-1-1-1-14088 [Legacy record ID]
Missions, Spanish
San Juan Capistrano Mission
Serra, Junipero
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Serra, Junípero, 1713-1784
Religious facilities
Time Period
San Juan Capistrano
1-137-74 [Microfiche number]
2124 [Accession number]
CHS-2124 [Call number]
California Historical Society [Contributing entity]
California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960
Title Insurance and Trust, and C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960

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