Father Junipero Serra, 1713-1784.
Serra logged more miles, on his feet
alone, than Lewis & Clarke did on horse back.

BORN MIGUEL JOSE SERRA ON THE Spanish Island of Mallorca, Father Junipero Serra is probably the best known of all the Franciscan mission priests. Described as a small man (only 5 feet, 2 inches tall), it was said that Padre Serra made up for his lack of stature with his enormous heart.
  By 1771, at the age of 58, the good padre moved into Mission Carmel. He had overseen much of the missionization of California through his high ideals and pragmatic nature. An asthmatic all of his life, and in his last years suffering a unhealable wound on his leg, Serra's love of the California Indians was legendary. When many of his fellow priests would have resorted immediately to strict and formal punishment in the face of neophyte opposition, Father Serra was known to administer the whip only when all else failed.
  By August of 1784, Padre Serra was ill and saw the end coming. He sent for his good friend Padre Francisco Palou. Father Palou prepared him for death. The Indians gathered outside his room. Finally, on August 28, 1784, the good padre died. As Padre Palou prepared the body for burial, he came and went from the room. Upon returning in the evening, Padre Palou was horrified to see that the Padre Serra's heart had been removed from his body. Fearing that greater harm would come should others know of the deed, Padre Palou quickly dressed the body for burial and arranged for internment the next day.
  The fate of Padre Serra's heart of was not unique to him alone. Within the next twenty years, nearly fifty-percent of the padres who passed away had their hearts removed under mysterious circumstances. Through much investigation, the Franciscans were able to surmise the cause of such radical acts: the Mission Indians, it was revealed, had established a secret network throughout the California mission system whose very charter was the removal of as many of the hearts of the deceased padres as was possible. It was the price the padres would pay for their work. Knowing that a body which was not intact would forever be restless in the afterlife, the Indians removed and hid the hearts from as many of the padres as possible. It was not until the early part of the following century that Padre Serra's heart turned up on the mission steps, preserved in a jar of brandy.
  To this day, missions and historical museums throughout California are full of the cut-out hearts of mission padres, on display for visitors to peruse.

RELATED LINKS
With regards to Junipero Serra, here are but a few of the possible sites one might encounter on the web. By simply Googling his name, 520,000 hits come up. Although the scholarship is yet to be completed, one suggestion is that there are more statues of Junipero Serra in California than of any other person.

Junipero Serra School
http://www.juniperoserra.org/

Expo for the Artist and Musician
http://www.artsandmedia.net/cgi-bin/dc/expo/2005/GUERRILLA_heart-in-a-jar

Joaquin Murrietta's Head in a Jar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaquin_Murietta
http://www.sptddog.com/sotp/jomu.html
http://www.joaquinmurrieta.com/

Ishi the Last Yahi Indian's Brain in a Jar
http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/repatriation/projects/ishi.htm
http://www.thebicyclingguitarist.net/ishi/
http://www.ucsf.edu/daybreak/1999/02/19_ishi.html
http://groups.msn.com/ONEOFMANYFEATHERS/ishithelastyahi.msnw

Looking for Ishi via the Work of Christopher August
(Additionally, Google C. August's name and pull up the PDF file in support of his Master's Thesis at UCSB, "Looking for Ishi.)
http://www.dailynexus.com/article.php?a=4793

San Diego Historical Society
http://www.sandiegohistory.org/bio/serra/serra.htm

The Catholic Church's Page Supporint His Canonization
http://www.catholic-church.org/serra-beth/serra-4.htm

Common Place's "The Competing Legacies of JPS:
http://www.common-place.org/vol-05/no-02/hackel/index.shtml

Romanticized Notions of Serra and the Missions
http://www.terryruscin.com

Account of Louis the XVII of France's Heart in a Jar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XVII_of_France


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