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Welcome to AmericanCatholic.org

AmericanCatholic.org, home of the online editions of St. Anthony Messenger and other Catholic features, is a service of Franciscan Media (formerly known as St. Anthony Messenger Press), in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first issue of St. Anthony Messenger magazine was published by the Franciscan friars of Cincinnati on June 1, 1893. Over the decades it grew into one of the principal Catholic family magazines in the United States. In 1970, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the magazine expanded into Franciscan Media, which has become one of America's largest publishers of popular, inspirational and educational Roman Catholic spirituality resources. These include books, audiobooks, and e-books.

In 1994, still under the operation of the Franciscan friars, St. Anthony Messenger Press acquired Franciscan Communications, the well-known Franciscan media enterprise located up to that time in Los Angeles.

AmericanCatholic.org took its place on the Internet in June 1996. On this site you will find reliable information on the Catholic and Christian faith. Much of this comes through the online edition of our family magazine, St. Anthony Messenger, and through our catalog of books, videos, and subscription products. Our sister site, CatholicSAMPler.com, offers free samples of Franciscan Media products. A variety of features, like Saint of the Day and Minute Meditations, appear exclusively on AmericanCatholic.org. CatholicGreetings.org offers attractive Catholic e-cards for all occasions. In September of 2003 St. Anthony Messenger Press continued its efforts to reach a broader audience when it acquired Servant Publications, which had published books for many years in the Catholic market under the Charis Books imprint. Franciscan Media continues to publish a broad variety of popular, Catholic books under both the Servant Books and the Franciscan Media Books imprints.

Franciscan Media conducts its publishing ministry with the official ecclesiastical approval of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cincinnati. Our postal address is 28 W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202. Phone: (513) 241-5615. We hope you find the information on this site enriching, inspiring and informative. Enjoy!

A Short Illustrated History
Credits


Junipero Serra: In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. 
<p>Born on Spain’s island of Mallorca, Serra entered the Franciscan Order, taking the name of St. Francis’ childlike companion, Brother Juniper. Until he was 35, he spent most of his time in the classroom—first as a student of theology and then as a professor. He also became famous for his preaching. Suddenly he gave it all up and followed the yearning that had begun years before when he heard about the missionary work of St. Francis Solanus in South America. Junipero’s desire was to convert native peoples in the New World. </p><p>Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and a companion walked the 250 miles to Mexico City. On the way Junipero’s left leg became infected by an insect bite and would remain a cross—sometimes life-threatening—for the rest of his life. For 18 years he worked in central Mexico and in the Baja Peninsula. He became president of the missions there. </p><p>Enter politics: the threat of a Russian invasion south from Alaska. Charles III of Spain ordered an expedition to beat Russia to the territory. So the last two <i>conquistadors</i>—one military, one spiritual—began their quest. José de Galvez persuaded Junipero to set out with him for present-day Monterey, California. The first mission founded after the 900-mile journey north was San Diego (1769). That year a shortage of food almost canceled the expedition. Vowing to stay with the local people, Junipero and another friar began a novena in preparation for St. Joseph’s day, March 19, the scheduled day of departure. On that day, the relief ship arrived. </p><p>Other missions followed: Monterey/Carmel (1770); San Antonio and San Gabriel (1771); San Luís Obispo (1772); San Francisco and San Juan Capistrano (1776); Santa Clara (1777); San Buenaventura (1782). Twelve more were founded after Serra’s death. </p><p>Junipero made the long trip to Mexico City to settle great differences with the military commander. He arrived at the point of death. The outcome was substantially what Junipero sought: the famous “Regulation” protecting the Indians and the missions. It was the basis for the first significant legislation in California, a “Bill of Rights” for Native Americans. </p><p>Because the Native Americans were living a nonhuman life from the Spanish point of view, the friars were made their legal guardians. The Native Americans were kept at the mission after Baptism lest they be corrupted in their former haunts—a move that has brought cries of “injustice” from some moderns. </p><p>Junipero’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He baptized over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. He is buried at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and was beatified in 1988. Pope Francis canonized him in Washington, D.C., on September 23, 2015.</p> American Catholic Blog Hope and faith can outshine the darkness of evil. However dense the darkness may appear, our hope for the triumph of the light is stronger still. Though violence continues to stain us with blood, the shadows of death can be dissipated with one act of light.

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Enter the holiday spirit by sending an e-card to schedule a summer cookout!

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Help the bride and groom see their love as a mirror of God’s love.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
God gave Mary to us as a help in our quest for holiness.




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