Saint Junipero Serra’s Birth Place
While traveling through the Balearic Islands, I discovered that Saint Junipero Serra was born in a small town called Petra on the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands off Spain. Since he is so important to my state and my regional fraternity, I decided to extend a visit there and see what it looked like. It is always a surprising experience visiting a new place and this was a very pleasant and interesting one.
I left from Porto Cristo by bus to arrive in Manacor, then took the train to Petra. Petra being a small town one had to only follow the one road into town from the train stop. The first stop was at the Church of St. Peter in Petra where St. Junipero Serra was baptized.
Just by accident Miquel, a Secular Franciscan, was there and was preparing to bring communion to the sick. He opened the church and let me take pictures.
After thanking Miquel many times we parted and walked up the road to the Franciscan Convent de San Bernadi. All was very quiet throughout the town but I meet a man walking by and asked him about the convent and he said there were a few friars still there, and when I approached a side door I found that they were open at certain hours and I was there at the right time to visit. I ranged the bell and was greeted by Br. Juan. I explained why I wished to visit and he showed me a few things about St. Junipero Serra and some pictures of the Californian Missions. We talked about St. Junipero Serra studying and becoming a friar there for many years.
There were also many ceramic pictures outside the convent that were of interest.
After visiting the convent, I saw the sign pointing to the house of St. Serra and a Serra Museum, so off we went.
The museum was just up the street, but it was closed and I was told that it was closed for renovation, so I just took a few outside photographs to get an idea of the place.
My visit was a very quiet and reflective one. Fray Serra came from a quiet agricultural town mostly cultivating grains and wine. He spent many years growing up in Petra, spent many years in Palma, Mallorca at the Franciscan Friary there and then sailed to Mexico and then on to California. In looking around the county-side of Petra it seemed to me that Fray Serra probably felt very comfortable in the land of California for it looks similar to here, and so he probably felt he had found a new home.
It was time to return to the boat, and on the way back through town I saw this road that made me think about the links of the past with the present. Wishing you all good life adventures.
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