Saving California by Patrick Henry Reardon

Saving California

The Man Who Founded California: The Life of Blessed Junípero Serra
by M. N. L. Couve de Murville
San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000
(140 pages; $24.95, cloth)

by Patrick Henry Reardon

Visitors to our nation’s Capitol in Washington are aware that each state of the Union is represented there by life-size statues of two persons important to its early history. Arguably the most conspicuous among those one hundred figures stands Junípero Serra, shod in sandals and clad in a long monastic habit girt about by the traditional Franciscan rope. Serra represents the great State of California, where he spent the last part of his life, from 1769 to 1784, as a missio . . .