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Saint Junipero Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California. The missions were primarily designed to bring the Catholic Christian faith to the native peoples. Other aims were to integrate the neophytes into Spanish society and to train them to take over ownership and management of the land. Serra worked tirelessly to maintain the missions and is credited with helping the Spanish establish a presence in California.