In 1935 the founding Serrans, a small group of laymen in Seattle,
USA, chose as their patron Father Junipero Serra, who was influential
in establishing the missions in California and Mexico. Father Serra
was beatified in 1988.
Saint Junipero Serra was an 18th century Franciscan missionary
priest in California in the harsh days of the Spanish colonisation,
when political, military and missionary ends intertwinned. A tireless
worker, Father Serra was a dedicated religious and missionary, penitent
and austere in all areas of his life. Father Serra was noted for his tieless love and dedication to the American Indian, despite the harshness of his time.
His feast day is July 1.
An excellent narrative on the life of Junipero Serra is:
Gregory Orfalea, Journey to the Sun, Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of California, SCRIBNER, New York, 2014