Blessed Junipero Serra was born on the Spanish island of Mallorca in 1713. He entered the Franciscan order and, until the age of 35, spent his years in the classroom, first as a student, then as a professor. Following a desire to become a missionary, he traveled to Mexico where he spent 18 years working in central Mexico and the Baja Peninsula. In the late 1760s, he made the 900-mile journey to present-day Monterey, California where he evangelized the people, establishing a total of nine missions. Blessed Junipero Serra will be canonized on September 23, 2015 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. His feast day is July 1.