There has been a rush of left-wing and progressive protesters vandalizing statues that they deem offensive around the country. Some of those statues honor Confederate generals, others honor our Founding Fathers. However, now even canonized saints are not even safe.
A Los Angeles statue of St. Junipero Serra was splattered with red paint and had the word murderer spray painted on it this weekend. According to eyewitness reports, a swastika was also scrawled on the statue.
Father Junipero was one of the most important Christian missionaries in the founding of America. According to his U.S. Capitol biography:
His dream was to become a missionary to America. He arrived in Mexico City in 1750 to begin this new life.
In 1769 he established a mission at the present site of San Diego, California, the first of a number that would include San Antonio, San Buenaventura, San Carlos, San Francisco de Assisi, San Gabriel, San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara. This was a herculean task considering that Father Serra was already in his fifties and suffered from a chronic ulcerated condition in one leg. Serra was ascetic and uncompromising in his zeal to convert the Indians to Christianity and to make his missions self sufficient. Inhabitants built their own homes, spun wool for garments, and pursued careers as masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, and millers; thousands of barrels of grain were kept in reserve supply, and herds of cattle, sheep, horses, and swine were maintained.
Junipero was credited with the founding of many of California’s great cities. Junipero devoted his entire life to the teaching and spreading of Christ’s teachings, becoming a monk at the age of 16. His deep devotion and kindness is described in his biography published by the San Fransisco Museum.
Serra’s religious conviction found in him a congenial mental constitution. He was even- tempered, temperate, obedient, zealous, kindly in speech, humble and quiet. His cowl covered neither greed, guile, hypocrisy, nor pride. he had no quarrels and made no enemies. He sought to be a monk, and he was one in sincerity. Probably few have approached nearer to the ideal perfection of a monkish life than he. Even those who think that he made great mistakes of judgment in regard to the nature of existence and the duties of man to society, must admire his earnest, honest and good character.
In 2015, Pope Francis canonized Junipero on a visit to the U.S.
According to CBS, some activists believe Junipero was evil:
The photo comes at a time when many are calling for the removal of controversial statues. Some argue Serra is not the saint the Catholic Church paints him out to be. Instead, they claim he used California Indians and destroyed part of their culture.
“I think the statue should come down from this park, and then put some appreciation to the Native people that live here,” Cristian Ramirez said. Ramirez would like the statue moved to a museum.
“We don’t want this violent history to be praised in our community,” Ramirez said.
The saint died years before the founding of the United States of America, but his likeness now seems a political target for radical political activism of 2017.