Man Who Helped Kill Thousands of Native Americans to Be Made a Saint by Pope Francis Today
Pope Francis landed in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to commence a six-day tour of the United States. Junipero Serra landed in San Diego, California in 1769 on a mission from Spain, to commence construction on the first of 21 Catholic missions in the state.
Through his directive, the Spaniards built the missions throughout California, plundering the land of its indigenous people and killing thousands of them. By 1900, 131 years after Serra's arrival, almost 95% of California's indigenous population had been decimated — down to 16,000 people from over 300,000. On Wednesday, Pope Francis will make Junipero Serra a saint. Naturally, some indigenous Californians are not happy about it.