Junipero Serra (1713-1784) - Born Miquel Josep Serra on 24 Nov 1713 in Petra, Majorca, Spain. He became a Monk of the Catholic order of St. Francis at age sixteen. He traveled to Mexico and then to California where he established the California Mission chain and nine of the missions in Alta Province of New Spain (California). He died on 28 Aug 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in present day Carmel, California. Buried under the chapel floor at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.
Father Serra traveled to Mexico in 1749 and there became a missionary to native Indian tribes. He spent seven years in a Mexico City Convent before traveling to Baja (Lower) California to resume his missionary work in 1767. In 1769, he traveled to Alta (upper) California to establish a chain of missions as Father Presidente of both Baja and Alta California.
Father Serra died on 28 Aug 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in present day Carmel, California. He is buried beneath the floor of the sanctuary at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Church along with Father Fermin Lasuen and Father Juan Crespi. Pope John Paul II visited Father Serra's grave on 17 Sep 1987, and beatified him on 25 Sep 1988; Pope Francis canonized him on 23 Sep 2015.