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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Jan Siegel’s Biography of Father Junípero Serra

One of our favorite local columnists is the Capistrano Dispatch’s Jan Siegel and her Moments in Time column.  This month, she has given us a detailed and well-written biography of Father Junípero Serra.

Father Junipero Serra (image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Fr. Junípero Serra, who was born November 24, 1713 on the island of Majorca, Spain. Christened Miguel Jose, Serra came from a family of local farmers, and as a child, he went to a Franciscan elementary school where he excelled in Latin. In September 1729, Serra became a philosophy student at the Franciscan Convento de San Francisco in Palma because he was too young to start training for the priesthood. It was common practice that upon ordination, priests would choose a new name to replace their baptismal name. Serra chose Junípero, who was a loyal friend and comrade to St. Francis.

You should read the entire article here.  Serra’s Wikipedia entry is here.  Those interested in learning more can heed Siegel’s invitation:

You can also visit the Mission on Sunday, November 24 for the tribute to Fr. Serra and visit the Historical Society through the month of December to view memorabilia from Fr. Serra’s 250-year celebration. The Historical Society is located at 31831 Los Rios Street.

Thank you, Jan, for all you do to preserve and spread the rich cultural heritage of San Juan Capistrano!

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