Saint Junipero Serra Pilgrimage - July 1, 2016 (San Carlos Cathedral to Carmel Mission Basilica)

"The Governor took the road to Monterey, going through a dense forest of pine where were paced many great crosses, significant of Christ's suffering. But they had not gone far before a band of choristers appeared, all wearing newly washed robes, attended by many young Indians in the dress of acolytes. They were closely followed by the padres marching in two wings.

(California Trails, Intimate Guide to the Old Missions, page 230)


Pilgrims at San Carlos Cathedral 

At 8:30 AM about 80 pilgrims gathered in front of San Carlos Cathedral on Church Street in Monterey. This would be our second pilgrimage and once again Father Peter Crivello would be our leader as we retrace the footsteps of Saint Junipero Serra for six miles between San Carlos Cathedral and Carmel Mission Basilica. 

Father Peter welcomed us and gave us our instructions, "We gather with a sense of prayer today and a sense of pilgrimage which is really the theme of what it means to be Christian, that we are on a pilgrim journey with Christ at our side...Please be mindful of one another...make Christ in our midst and look out for one another...Watch your step we will get to some challenging areas.  But there are people who have made the path easier for us...Remember to pray...Small groups pray the rosary.  Keep in your heart the intentions of people you know and of our Church in our minds as we make this prayerful walk."
As we walk this pilgrimage we will gather periodically to sing songs of praise, pray and listen to Father Peter read reflections on the life of Saint Junipero Serra.

This blog will feature photographs taken during this years walk, as well as photographs taken at the Carmel Mission Basilica and Mission Museum.

Photos will be interspersed in the text of reflections read by Father Peter. These reflections are taken from Blessed Junipero Serra Meditations and Novena, published in 2000 by Serra Press with an Imprimatur by Most Reverend Sylvester D. Ryan, D.D. Bishop of Monterey County.  

"Saint Junipero was ordained a priest at age 24, and earned a doctorate in Sacred Theology at 28.  By age 35, he held the highest ranking professorship at the University of Majorca.  He was a brilliant orator. After one particularly inspiring sermon, it was recorded that "his sermon was worthy of being printed in letters of gold." However, the voice of God called Junipero to be a teacher of the nations...Saint Junipero left Majorca for Mexico in 1749, he sent a farewell letter to his parents."

"He wrote, in part, "I wish I could give you some of the happiness that is mine; I feel that you would urge me to go ahead and never to turn back. What you consider and endure as a great sorrow will be turned into a lasting joy, for, if we are no more to see each other in this world, we will be united forever in eternal glory.  That is my prayer."

"Saint Junipero Serra at the height of earthly honors you abandoned all to become a missionary for the greater glory and honor of God...Help us to strengthen our faith and to listen for God's call and go ahead and never turn back. Siempre adelante as I know he asks.  Let us pray then, and ask ourselves what we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of the gospel." 

Church Street

Fremont Street

Via Mirada

Iris Canyon Road

Under Highway 1

Intersection of Iris Canyon and Barnet Segal Lane

Seek ye first the
kingdom of God
and his righteousness,
And all these things
shall be added unto you:
Allelu, alleluia

"On December 7, 1749, after a three-month transatlantic crossing to the New World, during which the ship was temporarily blown off course by a violent storm that threatened to shipwreck, Junipero first steeped ashore on continental North America at Vera Cruz, Mexico. He chose to walk the 275 – mile stretch of El Camino Real to Mexico City’s San Fernando Apostolic College."

"Along the way, mosquito or chigger bites infected his lower left leg. Recurrent inflammations, eventually developing into an ulcerated, possible cancerous growth, would afflict him for the rest of his life..."

   Bernet Segal Lane

Dr. Ruben Mendoza

                                        Viejo Road

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's light;
Look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright." 
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk
Till trav'ling days are done.

"At age 53 Saint Junipero ventured to Lower California as newly appointed President of the peninsula’s fifteen missions. He soon learned of Spain’s forthcoming temporal and spiritual settlement of Upper California. He volunteered and was appointed President.

"During the 95 day, 750 mile journey north by land from Lorreto to San Diego Bay, Junipero experienced great pain. He wrote, “I had much trouble in standing on my feet because the left foot was much inflamed, and the swelling reached halfway up my leg, which was covered with sores” Refusing all advice to turn back, Junipero said, “Even if I die on the road, I will not turn back. Although I would be buried here, I shall gladly remain among these people, if it be the will of God.” As a final alternative to being carried on a stretcher Saint Junipero asked the muleteer to prepare a poultice for his leg, and by the next day he was walking and able to celebrate Mass...Saint Junipero Serra, when your health was in jeopardy, when the future looked bleak, you never wavered...Help us all to learn from your example and remember that "God keeps His promises. He will not let you be tested beyond your strength." (Corinthians 10:13)

Monterey Velo Club Bike Path

Entrance Ramp of Highway 68 to Pacific Grove

Let us build a house where prophets speak
And words are strong and true,
Where all God's children dare to seek
To dream God's reign anew.

Aguajito Road

Wooded area above Highway 1
Cleared before Pilgrimage by Deacon Warren and Glen Clear

Through this life, O watch around us!
Fill with love ev'ry human heart!
When fear or doubt may overwhelm us,
With your courage take our part! 

Faithful Saint, through life adoring
Jesus Savior of humankind,
Hear these pilgrims, you imploring,
May we your protection find. 

 Highway 1 

 Back in the Woods 

We walk by faith and not by sight:
No gracious words we hear
Of him who spoke as none e'er spoke,
But we believe him near. 

 Father Tom Hall 

Carpenter Street 

"Saint Junipero truly believed in the power of novenas. While he was stationed at San Diego, scurvy killed many of the soldiers, provisions were running perilously low, and the supply ship had not returned from Mexico with replenishment. The dire situation forced a decision to abandon San Diego and California if the ship did not arrive soon. The limit was set at March 20, 1770, one day after the Solemnity of Saint Joseph...

True to his motto, "Always go forward; never turn back," he wrote that he and fellow priest, Juan Crespi, would remain even if the settlement were abandoned, relying on Almighty God's providence." With the participation of all the soldiers and sailors, Saint Junipero began a nine-day novena of prayers to Saint Joseph.

On March 19, the ninth day of the Novena and the feast of Saint Joseph, and with everything ready for departure from San Diego, a ship was seen on the southern horizon at 3 PM [the hour of Mercy]. Saint Junipero's heart was filled with "singular joy and happiness" and he "ceaselessly thanked God..."
Father Serra's Landing Place by Leon Trousset

"With replenished supplies and a new sense of purpose the expedition decided not to abandon San Diego.  They continued north to Monterey and established the second presidio-mission, San Carlos Borromeo, on June 3, 1770.
Spot Serra Erected Cross August 21, 1771

This would become Junipero's permanent California home, mission headquarters, and eventually  his burial site." 

 Carpenter & Highway 1 

Lower Trail

 Lobos Street 

 Hatton Road

 Intersection of Ocean Avenue and Hatton Road 

25800 Hatton Road 

 Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden

 Flanders Mansion 

 View from Flanders Mansion Back Yard and our Destination

 Father Peter Leading Reflection

"After devoting his life to a dynamic apostolic ministry among the California Indians, Junipero slowed considerably by mid 1784 and prepared to die. By late August, the royal surgeon was unable to alleviate his old lung trouble, and along with his age, strenuous lifestyle, and ulcerated leg, he was diagnosed with a "worn-out body."

Serra's Viaticum by Mariano Guerrero 

"On August 27, Junipero received Viaticum, his last Holy Communion. He walked the few hundred yards from his cell to the sanctuary of Mission Carmel's Church, where he knelt and began to sing, Tantum ergo, Sacramentum, veneremur cernui..."

Serra Cell Mission Museum

"On August 28, Junipero promised visitors that "If the Lord in His infinite mercy grants me the eternal happiness which I do not deserve because of my faults, I shall pray for all dwellers in these missions and for the conversion of so many people whom I leave unconverted." He prayed alone in his cell until 1 pm then prepared for a siesta by removing his mantel, laying down on his rough bed of boards and clasping his crucifix to his breast."

Detail of Serra Cenotaph by Jo Mora

"Shortly before 2 pm Francisco Palou entered Junipero's cell and "found him asleep in the Lord, without giving any sign or trace of agony." 

Relic of Coffin of Saint Junipero Serra 

"So ended Junipero Serra's life at 70 years, 9 months and 4 days. He had been a Franciscan for almost 54 years, a priest for 45 and an apostolic missionary for 35 years."

Burial Place of Saint Junipero Serra 

"In California alone, where he spent the last 15 years of his life, he had founded nine missions, baptized more than 6000 Indians and confirmed more than 5000."

 Pilgrims Enter Mission Trail Nature Preserve 

 Mesa Trail 

 Serra Trail 

 Gathering Before Crossing Rio Road

 Rio Road

 Carmel Mission Basilica

 Bishop Richard Garcia Before Mass

 Celebration of the Holy Eucharist

Deacon Warren, Fr. Peter, Fr. Paul, Bishop Richard Garcia
 and Other Priests Representing California Missions

Siempre adelante, nunca de adtrás.
Always forward, never back. 

Saint Junipero Serra Pray for Us 

Until next time Happy Adventures!

For devotional items related to the Catholic Church please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures.  

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Photography by LA and RM Momboisse