During his visit to the United States, Pope Francis will personally canonize Blessed Junipero Serra. This Franciscan missionary is known as the “Apostle to California” and his statue is one of two selected by the State of California to stand in the United States Capitol building.
Blessed Serra is the patron of an international organization dedicated to affirming vocations to the priesthood and religious life. More information about that organization can be found at http://serraus.org/index.htm
For more information about the canonization and about a special study day being held in Rome in May – at which Pope Francis will personally preside at a celebration of the Eucharist – see http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/40562/
Finally, for a reflection on how an understanding and appreciation of the life and ministry of Fray Junipero Serra can assist in taking a fresh look at the founding myth of the United States and reclaiming the Catholic and Hispanic history from an overly Anglo-centric view, see the following article: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/world-news/detail/articolo/junipero-serra-40571/