A first of its kind is occurring on U.S. soil on Wednesday, September 24, at 4:15 pm EST. Blessed Junipero Serra will be canonized in Washington, D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Francis. Previous to his canonization, all other saints who were born in the United States or served in the United States, have been canonized in Rome at St. Peter's Basilica. St. Pope John Paul II initiated the current practice of canonizing saints when he was in their country on a papal visit. Pope Francis inaugurates the practice in the United States when he visits, September 22 - September 27, 2015.