Father Serra Shrine

Carmel-by-the-Sea's Town Trustees declared July 22, 1922 "Serra Day," officially honoring Padre Junipero Serra who claimed the Monterey Peninsula for civilization and, of all the peninsula, he chose Carmel for the site of the Mother Mission of California. From Carmel, Father Serra directed his work of converting and civilizing the California Indians. From here he set out on his numerous journeys to found other missions up and down California. He died in Carmel and his grave in the Mission Sanctuary has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

The Serra Shrine containing a statue of the great Franciscan missionary, carved in wood, was dedicated in Serra Circle of Carmel Woods with appropriate ceremonies. This Serra Shrine was the work of Jo Mora, the great California sculptor. George Sterling, the famous poet, wrote a poem to signalize the erection of this statue, and was read during the ceremony of dedication by Susan Mott Porter.

"The shadows fall from cloud and pine.
We, knowing you were great and good
Nearer than we to the Divine,
Would make you warden of our Wood."

The shrine was brought from Carmel Mission on a carreta drawn by six horses and with an escort of eight soldiers in uniform of eighth century Spain, in solemn procession through Carmel-by-the-Sea, to Carmel Woods, where it was unveiled by Rev. Raymond Mestres, who was the direct descendant in ecclesiastical office of Padre Junipero Serra.

The shrine is located at the intersection of Serra Road and Camino Del Monte in Carmel Woods.

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