1981 ~ 1988 - 2

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 Fr. Junipero Serra

     A priest in the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, Junipero Serra was a driving force in the Spanish conquest and colonization of what is now the state of California. In 1767 the Spanish emperor's expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain's colonies led the government to ask the Franciscan Order to replace them as missionaries in Baja (lower) California. Serra was appointed head of these missions. The next year the Spanish governor decided to explore and found missions in Alta (upper) California, the area which is now the state of California. This project was intended both to Christianize the extensive Indian populations and to serve Spain's strategic interest by preventing Russian explorations and possible claims to North America's Pacific coast. Serra spent the rest of his life as head of the Franciscans in Alta California. His sacrifices bore fruit for the missionaries; by his death in 1784, the nine missions he had founded had a nominally converted Indian population of nearly 5,000. 

SCN C116

     The stamp was issued in 1984 the stamp was issued to commemorate Serra’s work in California. The design was based on the Spanish stamp commemorating Fr. Serra (Spain 2394). It shows an outline map of the west coast of North America, and a portrait of Serra

SCN 2394

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