Junipero Serra was a missionary who Pope Francis just canonised on his tour of the U.S.

Not everyone agrees on Serra's sainthood though.

Serra is credited with bringing Catholocism to California in the 1700s but at the cost of thousands of Native American lives.

It is believed that rape, beatings and infectious diseases were used to subjugate the indigenous population as a means of forcing their religious conversion.

Serra's supporters blame much of this on earlier colonisers, with the Spanish supposedly being responsible for all the syphilis at least.

California governor, Jerry Brown, has called Serra 'a very courageous man.'

His sainthood is ever further under scrutiny for not fulfilling the church's criteria of performing two miracles. He is credited as healing a nun with lupus but appears to have bypassed the usual two-miracle verification process for canonisation.

 

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