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