Thought for the Day – 1 July
Junipero’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He baptised over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death when the music was drowned out by the weeping!
The word that best describes Junipero is zeal. His motto “always forward, never back” is a great watchword for all of us. His life inspires us each to serve the Lord with the entirety of our hearts, souls and lives. What a difference we might make in the world if we were to embrace our apostolic calling with the same vigor and commitment that St Junipero did!
St Junipero Serra, pray for us!