Fray Junipero Serra, O.F.M. (1713-84) has historically been revered as the “Apostle of California.” Since his beatification at Saint Peter’s Basilica on 25 September 1988, when Pope John Paul II declared him a “shining example of Christian virtue,” he is now “Blessed Junipero,” the “Patron of California.”
On his deathbed at Mission Carmel, Blessed Junipero promised that if God granted him “eternal happiness,” he would pray for “all dwellers in these missions.” Armed with the knowledge that he promised to continue his apostolate from Heaven as affirmed by his beatification, we are guaranteed that Blessed Junipero is listening to our needs and problems. He is truly a “heroic” friend and ally, and able to intercede for us before God. As such, he is a wonderful source of grace, inspiration, and solace, not only for those within his “Golden State,” but beyond as well.
The Novena Prayer (see below) is the same one used by Sister Mary Boniface Dyrdra, OSF when she was near death. After praying to Servant of God Junipero Serra and reciting the novena prayer, she was miraculously cured of lupus. In her words: “When I was taken to the hospital to die, our chaplain suggested that we make a novena in honor of Father Serra. There was quite a sudden change. I was able to sit up in bed. I experienced a steady improvement and after another week I was dismissed. Thanks be to God and to Father Serra!”
In order that Blessed Junipero Serra be proclaimed a saint, another miracle must be obtained through his intercession. We invite you to pray for such a miracle.
San Francisco, California, New York
O Lord Jesus Christ, reward the apostolic zeal of Your servant Blessed Junipero, who, leaving home and fatherland, labored for the salvation of souls in Mexico and California. Graciously deign by evident signs and prodigies to glorify him, so that for the exaltation of Your Most Holy Name he may be raised to the full honors of the altar. Grant that through his merits I may obtain the grace I desire. Amen.
FROM THE FRANCISCAN PILGRIMAGES PROGRAM