Biography of Junipero Serra, soon to be canonized by Pope Francis, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press
San Francisco, August 13, 2015 – Ignatius Press announces the release of a paperback edition of the book The Man Who Founded California, a popular but thorough biography of Junipero Serra (1713-1784), the tireless Franciscan missionary who came to California in the eighteenth century to evangelize the Native Americans. Pope Francis will canonize Serra a saint on September 23rd during his historic visit to the USA and this important book provides a detailed account of the amazing faith and works of this beloved missionary.
Well known for the 21 historic missions he helped establish all along the coast from San Diego to San Francisco, Serra is recognized by the United States government as the “Founder of California”. As one of the pioneers who created the United States of America, his larger than life-size statue stands in the hall of the U.S. Capitol.
The author of The Man Who Founded California, Archbishop Couve de Murville, presents an historical and spiritual biography of Serra from his childhood and students days in Majorca, Spain, to his time in Mexico, and to his great missionary work in California. Regarded as a great teacher by his order, Serra was initially a professor of theology at the Lullian University in Palma, Spain. After teaching for five years, he answered the call to be a missionary to the New World, and embarked on a ship to Mexico in 1749. For the rest of his life he worked tirelessly as a preacher and a missionary in Mexico and California, his motto being “Always forward, never back.”
Father Serra’s presence and work are still very much alive though the beautiful missions that are visited by millions of people every year. This paperback edition includes numerous illustrations, most in color, of the life and work of Serra, especially of the missions that dot the landscape of California, many gloriously restored to their original beauty.
St. John Paul II, who beatified Junipero Serra in 1988, explains, “At crucial moments in human affairs, God raises up men and women whom he thrusts into the roles of decisive importance for the future development of both society and the Church. We rejoice all the more when their achievement is coupled with a holiness of life that can truly be called heroic. So it is with Junipero Serra, who in the providence of God was destined to be the Apostle of California.”
“Junipero Serra is a great example for Catholics. He dedicated his life to the mission of evangelization, to bringing the good news of the Gospel to America. He understood that the purpose of the Church is to help us all grow as human persons and to respond to God’s call: to love God and love others,” says the Most Reverend Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, California.
About the Author: M.N.L. Couve de Murville was the Chaplain of Cambridge University for five years before becoming the Archbishop of Birmingham, England, from 1982-1999.
Anthony Ryan, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Ignatius Press, is available for interviews about this book. To request a review copy or an interview with Anthony Ryan, please contact:
Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press at (239) 867-4180 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Title: THE MAN WHO FOUNDED CALIFORNIA
The Life of Saint Junipero Serra
Author: M.N.L. Couve de Murville
Release Date: August 2015
Length: 142 pages, illustrated
ISBN: 978-1-62164-057-8 • Softcover
Order: 1-800-651-1531 • www.ignatius.com