Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 11 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Laconi
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

The day St. Junípero Serra went to a museum in Connecticut


A statue of Father Junipero Serra stands in front of the San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California on September 23, 2015.

Daniel Esparza - published on 08/24/16

“Mission of Faith,” an exhibition on the coming of the Gospel to America now on display at the museum of the Knights of Columbus, hosts a relic of the Franciscan missionary

From the early days of humble, wooden framed thatched houses in New England and adobe buildings in the American Southwest, missions are part of an eventful chapter in the history of the United States: that of the arrival of the Europeans into the “New World.” The arrival of Columbus to the Caribbean and the Americas was just the beginning of a longer process that would eventually and partially end in the 18th century, with the birth of most of the nations we know today in North, Central and South America.

That process, as is well known, shaped the spiritual, political, social and cultural values not only of the then-emerging European colonies in the Americas, but also of the nations that were created after the continental independence wars. During that process, Catholic missionaries, men and women from different orders and congregations as well as from different countries (Spain, France and England mainly), also arrived in the Americas. They spread the Gospel and ministered to the many spiritual and physical needs of both natives and settlers, establishing not only missions and parishes, but also schools and hospitals.

Relic of St. Junípero Serra, on loan from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey, California.
Relic of St. Junípero Serra, on loan from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey, California.

The Museum of the Knights of Columbus, in New Haven, Connecticut, is hosting an exhibition (until September 16) which documents the footsteps of those missionaries and features their contributions to the exploration, evangelization and building of North America. The exhibition surveys the history of missionary activity and pays homage to its protagonists, including the recently canonized Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and Saint Junípero Serra. Two relics of the Franciscan saint are included in the exhibition!

To schedule a group tour, feel free to email For more information on both the Museum of the Knights of Columbus or the exhibition itself, click here.

Relic of St. Junípero Serra, on loan from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey, California.
Relic of St. Junípero Serra, on loan from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey, California.
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for healing and strength
Philip Kosloski
What are the 4 different parts of the Mass?
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.