Pending Sainthood for Junipero Serra Remains Controversial

Jul 28, 2015

Father Junipero Serra's role in the early history of California looms nearly as large as the statue of him that overlooks Highway 280 south of San Francisco.

The Franciscan priest who founded the California Missions is due to be sainted by Pope Francis this fall, a move that has reignited the debate over his treatment of the native people who met the Spanish conquerors.

Historically, attainting sainthood requires the confirmation of two miracles performed by the candidate for canonization. But in the case of Father Serra, observes  Gregory Orfalea, author of the Serra biography, Journey to the Sun, that standard appears to have been relaxed somewhat.

The North Bay Report previously interviewed Serra biographer Gregory Orfalea about his book in January 2014. Hear that story here.