A statue of Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra was decapitated in October. The head was discovered Saturday during a low tide in Monterey, California.

Off With His Head: Decapitated Skull of Junipero Serra Statue Found By Ocean

Simon Moya-Smith

He was known to flog Native Americans off the Pacific Coast into submission, and even called the deaths of indigenous children a "harvest."

Now, Junipero Serra is a saint.

Courtesy Karen Cummings

But, in what appears to be an act of protest to the September canonization of the 18th-century Franciscan Friar by Pope Francis, someone lopped off the head of a Serra statue.

On Saturday, the stone head was found on the beach during a low tide in Monterey, California, approximately six months after it was removed, police told Bay-area news station KRON.

"I looked down and saw a stone head. I had no idea what it was. So I thought, 'that's kind of cool.' I picked it up and brought it back to my parents and grandparents," Sydney Martindale, 17, who found the head, told local NBC News affiliate KSBW.

Martindale told KSBW that her grandmother,  who is allegedly the head docent at the nearby Carmel Mission, founded in 1771, immediately recognized it as Serra.

Serra's canonization was protested by Native Americans due to his documented cruelty to the indigneous peoples of the North America.

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Christian Clifford
Christian Clifford
Submitted by Christian Clifford on
Do you mean documented "cruelty" like the following? February 10, 1770 - Serra writes his superior in Mexico City, Fr. Juan Andés, with an update on life in San Diego. Referring to the Indian revolt on Aug. 15, he wrote; “And so it turned out, thank God, for seeing many of their companions covered with blood, they all fled. And I believe none of them were killed; therefore they can all yet be baptized.” June 11, 1773 - Fray Junípero Serra to [Viceroy of New Spain] Antonio Maria de Bucareli y Ursua, Mexico City: "That at the first request of the Missionary Father . . . he [Commandant of the Presidio] should remove the soldier or soldiers who may have given bad example [to the neophyte], especially in matters of incontinence, and that they be withdrawn to the presidio and another or others be sent in their place who are not known as indecorous and scandalous." Writings of Junípero Serra (Vol. I), 383. July 24, 1775 - “...the spiritual side of the missions is developing most happily. In [Mission] San Antonio there are simultaneously two harvests at one time, one for wheat, and one of a plague among the children who are dying. A number of days ago, the Surgeon went there to help them." -- Fray Serra, letter to Fr. Pangua December 15, 1775 - Mission San Diego was attacked in November and three Spaniards killed. Serra would ask for leniency for the murderers. On this day, Serra wrote to Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa in Mexico City reminding him, “One of the most important requests I made . . . was that if the Indians, gentile or Christian, should kill me then they should be forgiven.” Seems to me that Serra was concerned, forgiving, dedicated, and a voice for justice.