Journey to the Sun

Journey to the Sun

Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of California

Book - 2014
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"The fascinating narrative of the remarkable life of Junipero Serra, the intrepid priest who led Spain and the Catholic Church into California in the 1700s and became a key figure in the making of the American West. In the year 1749, at the age of thirty-six, Junipero Serra left his position as a highly regarded priest in Spain for the turbulent and dangerous New World, knowing he would never return. The Spanish Crown and the Catholic Church both sought expansion in Mexico--the former in search of gold, the latter seeking souls--as well as entry into the mysterious land to the north called "California." By his death at age seventy-one, Serra had traveled more than 14,000 miles on land and sea through the New World--much of that distance on a chronically infected and painful foot--baptized and confirmed 6,000 Indians, and founded nine of California's twenty-one missions, with his followers establishing the rest. The names of these missions ring through the history of California--San Diego, San Jose, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara, and San Francisco--and served as the epicenters of the arrival of Western civilization, where millions more would follow, creating the California we know today. Combining biography, European history, knowledge of Catholic doctrine, and anthropology, Journey to the Sun provides fresh perspective on America's creation story. Orfalea's poetic and incisive recounting of Serra's life shows how one man changed the future of California and in so doing affected the future of our nation
"The fascinating narrative of the remarkable life of Junipero Serra, the intrepid priest who led Spain and the Catholic Church into California in the 1700s and became a key figure in the making of the American West. In the year 1749, at the age of thirty-six, Junipero Serra left his position as a highly regarded priest in Spain for the turbulent and dangerous New World, knowing he would never return. The Spanish Crown and the Catholic Church both sought expansion in Mexico--the former in search of gold, the latter seeking souls--as well as entry into the mysterious land to the north called "California." By his death at age seventy-one, Serra had traveled more than 14,000 miles on land and sea through the New World--much of that distance on a chronically infected and painful foot--baptized and confirmed 6,000 Indians, and founded nine of California's twenty-one missions, with his followers establishing the rest. The names of these missions ring through the history of California--San Diego, San Jose, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara, and San Francisco--and served as the epicenters of the arrival of Western civilization, where millions more would follow, creating the California we know today. Combining biography, European history, knowledge of Catholic doctrine, and anthropology, Journey to the Sun provides fresh perspective on America's creation story. Orfalea's poetic and incisive recounting of Serra's life shows how one man changed the future of California and in so doing affected the future of our nation"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2014
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781451642759
145164275X
9781451642735
1451642733
9781451642728
1451642725
Characteristics: viii, 465 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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"When the music stopped, the only commandment you got was not to walk into the Pacific and drown yourself. You were now a Californian; you were at the sheer end of the world."

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