Saint Junípero Serra
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Junípero Serra was an 18th-century Franciscan priest and a driving force in the Spanish colonization of what is now the state of California. Even more importantly, he was a passionate missionary in that region. By Serra’s own account, when he met the first native people with whom he would share the Gospel, he kissed the ground and thanked God for the opportunity. In addition to sharing the faith, he taught them agriculture, cattle raising, and arts & crafts.