Father Junipero Serra was born in 1713 in Petra, Majorca, in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1749, he joined the San Fernando missionary college in Mexico and became famous as a preacher. He made many long trips despite the handicap of being lame.
Father Serra became the superior of the Franciscan missions in Lower California, now part of Mexico, in 1767. In 1769, he founded the first mission in Upper California, now the state of California.
A statute of Father Serra represents California in the Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol in Washington DC.