Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Saint Junipero Serra -- Septembe 23, 2015

Today Pope Francis visited Washington DC.  During a mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, he canonized Junipero Serra, the Franciscan priest who founded the Alta California missions.  There is controversy because the Native Americans lost their cultures and many died.  He thought he was doing the right thing.  This was the first canonization performed in the United States. 

I can find only two theatrical movies that featured Saint Junipero Serra as a character, American's "The Coming of the Padres" from 1914 and 20th Century-Fox's Seven Cities of Gold from 1955.  Seven Cities of Gold featured Anthony Quinn as Gaspar de Portolá, leader of the first overland expedition to Alta California and Michael Rennie as Father Junipero Serra, the spiritual leader of the expedition.  I have always admired Michael Rennie because of The Day the Earth Stood Still.  Rita Moreno was good as a Native American.

Michael Rennie's Junipero Serra demanded that the soldiers treat the Native Americans as human beings. 

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