Mission San Xavier del Bac in 2003
|Location||near Tucson, Arizona|
|Name as founded||La Misión San Xavier del Bac|
|English translation||The Mission of Saint Xavier of the Water|
|Patron||Saint Francis Xavier, SJ|
|Nickname(s)||"The White Dove of the Desert"|
|Founding date||1692 (Current church constructed 1692 (for Shrine to west of church dating( current structure 1783-1797)|
|Founding priest(s)||Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, SJ|
| Native tribe(s) |
| Tohono O'odham |
joined by Yaqui
|Governing body||San Xavier Indian Reservation|
|Current use||Parish Church|
|Designated||October 15, 1966|
|Designated||October 9, 1960|
Mission San Xavier del Bac (Spanish : Misión de San Xavier del Bac) is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. The mission was founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino in the center of a centuries-old Indian settlement of the Sobaipuri O'odham who were a branch of the Akimel or River O'odham, located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River. The mission was named for Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order) in Europe. The original church was built to the north of the present Franciscan church. This northern church or churches served the mission until being razed during an Apache raid in 1770.
Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
Tucson is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116, while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 58th largest metropolitan area in the United States (2014).
Today's Mission was built between 1783-1797; it is the oldest European structure in Arizona; the labor was provided by the O'odham.An outstanding example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States, it hosts some 200,000 visitors each year. Ir makes a cameo appearance in Cather's novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop when it's described by Fr Vaillant as "the most beautiful church on the continent, though it had been neglected for more than two hundred years."
Willa Sibert Cather was an American writer who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918). In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I.
Death Comes for the Archbishop is a 1927 novel by American author Willa Cather. It concerns the attempts of a Catholic bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in New Mexico Territory.
The site is also known in the O'odham language as "goes in" or comes in: meaning "where the water goes in", as the water in the Santa Cruz came up to the surface a couple of miles south of Martinez HIll and then submerged again near Los Reales Wash. The Santa Cruz River that used to run year round in this section, once critical to the community's survival, now runs only part of the year.
The Santa Cruz River is a river in Southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. It is approximately 184 miles (296 km) long.
The Mission is a pilgrimage site, with thousands visiting each year on footand on horseback, some among ceremonial cavalcades, or cabalgatas in Spanish.
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.
A cavalcade is a procession or parade on horseback, or a mass trail ride by a company of riders. The focus of a cavalcade is participation rather than display. Often, the participants do not wear costumes or ride in formation. Often, a cavalcade re-enacts an important historical event and follows a long distance trail. A cavalcade may also be a pilgrimage.
San Xavier Mission was established in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, founder of the chain of Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert. A Jesuit of Italian descent, he often visited and preached in the area, then the Pimería Alta colonial territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. km) from the site of today's Mission, began on April 28, 1700, as noted in his diary:Construction of the first mission church, about two miles (3
The Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert are a series of Jesuit Catholic religious outposts established by the Spanish Catholic Jesuits and other orders for religious conversions of the Pima and Tohono O'odham indigenous peoples residing in the Sonoran Desert. An added goal was giving Spain a colonial presence in their frontier territory of the Sonora y Sinaloa Province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and relocating by Indian Reductions settlements and encomiendas for agricultural, ranching, and mining labor.
The Pimería Alta was an area of the 18th century Sonora y Sinaloa Province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, that encompassed parts of what are today southern Arizona in the United States and northern Sonora in Mexico.
The Viceroyalty of New Spain was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty, the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
On the twenty-eighth we began the foundations of a very large and capacious church and house of San Xavier del Bac, all of the many people working with much pleasure and zeal, some in digging for the foundations, others in hauling many and very good stones of tezontle from a little hill which was about a quarter of a league away. ... On the twenty-ninth we continued laying the foundations of the church and of the house.
The "little hill" is believed to be that southeast of San Xavier del Bac. Charles III of Spain distrusted Jesuits and in 1767 banned them from Spanish lands in the Americas. He installed what he considered the more pliable and "reliable" Franciscans as replacements. The original church proved vulnerable to Apache attacks, which finally destroyed it in about 1770. From 1775 on, the mission community and its Indian converts were protected somewhat from Apache raids by the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, established roughly 7 miles (11 km) downstream on the Santa Cruz River.
The present Mission building was constructed under the direction of Franciscan fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz between 1783 and 1797.With 7,000 pesos borrowed from a Sonoran rancher, they hired architect Ignacio Gaona, who employed a large workforce of O'odham to create today's church.
Following Mexican independence in 1821, what was then known as Alta California was administered from Mexico City. In 1822, the Mission was included under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Diocese of Sonora. In 1828, the Mexican government banned all Spanish-born priests, with the last resident Franciscan departing San Xavier for Spain in 1837.
Left vacant, the Mission began to decay. Concerned about their church, local Indians began to preserve what they could. With the Gadsden Purchase in 1854, San Xavier was brought under U.S. rule as part of the Territory of Arizona. The church was re-opened in 1859 when the Santa Fe Diocese added the Mission to its jurisdiction. It ordered repairs paid for with diocesan money, and assigned a priest to serve the community. In 1868 the Diocese of Tucson was established. It provided for regular services to be held again at the church.
In 1872 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened a school at the Mission for the Tohono O'odham children. In 1895 a grant of $1,000 was given to repair the building. More classrooms were added in 1900. The Franciscans returned to the Mission in 1913. In 1947, they built a new school next to the church for the local children.
Extensive restoration in the late 20th century has returned the Mission interior to its historic splendor. Cement-based stucco added in the 1980s had trapped water inside the church and damaged its interior decorations. It is being removed and replaced with traditional mud plaster incorporating pulp from the prickly pear cactus. This material "breathes" better and allows excess water to escape, but it requires more frequent inspection and has higher maintenance costs. Following extensive and ongoing restoration of decorations, the Mission church interior appears much in its original state, with brilliant colors and complex designs.
San Xavier has an elegant white stucco, Moorish-inspired exterior, with an ornately decorated entrance. Visitors entering the massive, carved mesquite-wood doors are often struck both by the coolness of the interior and the dazzling colors of the paintings, carvings, frescoes, and statues. Its rich ornamentation displays a mixture of New Spain and Native American artistic motifs.
The floor plan of the church resembles the classic Latin cross, with a main aisle separated from the sanctuary by the transept, which has chapels at either end. The dome above the transept is 52 feet (16 m) high, supported by arches and squinches. At least three different artists painted the artwork inside the church.[ citation needed ] It is considered by many to be the finest example of Spanish mission architecture in the United States.
The Mission was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
Unlike the other Spanish missions in Arizona, San Xavier is still actively run by Franciscans, and continues to serve the Native community by which it was built. Widely considered to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States, the Mission hosts some 200,000 visitors each year.It is open to the public daily, except when being used for church services.
The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, who have taught at the school since 1872, continue with their work and reside in the Mission convent.
The San Xavier Festival is held the evening of the Friday after Easter and features a torch-light parade of Tohono O'odham and Yaqui tribal members.
To the east of the San Xavier Mission, bordering the I-19 Freeway, is Martinez Hill. This hill, according to historian David Leighton, is named in honor of Jose Maria Martinez. Mr. Martinez was born in the Pimeria Alta (present-day northern Sonora and southern Arizona), in the early 1800s. Around 1833 Jose wed Felipa Yrigoyen, likely in Tubac, Sonora. The couple had many children, including Maria and Nicolas Martinez. From 1836 to 1838, Lt. Col. Jose Maria Martinez was in charge of the presidio in Tucson. In 1838 he retired from the military and was given land in Tubac. Ten years later, an attack by Apache Indians forced the residents to abandon the town, with most moving to Tucson, but the Martinez family relocated to San Xavier, where he was granted land by the chief. The hill that bears his name was either included in the land grant or was very close to it. Martinez went into the cattle business for many years and would die from wounds suffered in an Apache attack, in 1868.
To the north of San Xavier Mission existed the Los Reales community. The community (sometimes referred to as a town or village), which is believed to have existed from about the early 1860s to about 1912, had long been forgotten until an article in the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, by historian David Leighton, brought it to light. The community was started when a miner named S.R. Domingo built a home and foundry just north of the San Xavier Mission, on the west bank of the Santa Cruz River. He prospered in his mining endeavor and is believed to have kept his wealth buried in the tall grasses along the river, since no banks existed at the time. In time, other individuals came to the area and began farms in the fertile valley supported by the ever-flowing river, and the community grew. They built adobe homes, planted crops, and established the first Los Reales community. Domingo is believed to have been murdered in the late 1860s, by miners he had hired to work his mine, but it is unknown what happened to his riches.
In 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant established the San Xavier Indian Reservation and all non-Native Americans were forced to leave the Indian lands. As a result, these individuals forced to leave set up the new or second Los Reales on the east bank of the river. This new community across from the old Los Reales included two stores and a blacksmith shop nearby. The Los Reales Cemetery also existed on that side of the river. It's believed that in 1912, as a result of the Midvale Farms (now the Midvale Park neighborhood) taking much of the water from the river, the then farming village ceased to exist. The only known remnants of the old town are parts of the cemetery and a street known as Los Reales Road.
The Tohono Oʼodham are a Native American people of the Sonoran Desert, residing primarily in the U.S. state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. Tohono Oʼodham means "Desert People". The federally recognized tribe is known as the Tohono Oʼodham Nation.
Tumacacori is an unincorporated community in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States It abuts the community of Carmen, Arizona. Together, the communities constitute the Tumacacori-Carmen census-designated place (CDP). The population of the CDP was 393 at the 2010 census.
The San Xavier Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation of the Tohono O’odham Nation located near Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert.The San Xavier Reservation lies in the southwestern part of the Tucson metropolitan area and consists of 111.543 sq mi (288.895 km²) of land area, about 2.5 percent of the Tohono O’odham Nation. It had a 2000 census resident population of 2,053 persons, or 19 percent of the Tohono O’odham population.
The Avra Valley is a 50-mile (80 km) long northwest-southeast valley, bordering the west of Tucson, Arizona. The Tucson Mountains are at the valley's center-east, with suburbs ranging east of the Tucson Mountains and trending northwest to the Avra Valley's northeast. This entire northwest stretch from Tucson contains the northwest trending Interstate 10, the route to Casa Grande and Phoenix. The northeast of the valley contains Marana on I-10, the Pinal Airpark, an aircraft storage park, and other communities along I-10. Avra Valley Airport is a general aviation airport in Marana, located about 15 miles northwest of Tucson and being used for storage of classic propeller-era airliners.
Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés, O.F.M., was a Spanish Franciscan friar who served as a missionary and explorer in the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain. He explored much of the southwestern region of North America, including present day Sonora and Baja California in Mexico, and the U.S. states of Arizona and California. He was killed along with his companion friars during an uprising by the Native American population, and they have been declared martyrs for the faith by the Catholic Church. The cause for his canonization was opened by the Church.
Eusebio Francisco Kino was a Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer born in the Territory of the Bishopric of Trent, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. For the last 24 years of his life he worked in the region then known as the Pimería Alta, modern-day Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona in the United States. He explored the region and worked with the indigenous Native American population, including primarily the Tohono O'Odham, Sobaipuri and other Upper Piman groups. He proved that the Baja California Peninsula is not an island by leading an overland expedition there. By the time of his death he had established 24 missions and visitas.
Tumacácori National Historical Park is located in the upper Santa Cruz River Valley in Santa Cruz County, southern Arizona. The park consists of 360 acres (1.5 km2) in three separate units. The park protects the ruins of three Spanish mission communities, two of which are National Historic Landmark sites. It also contains the landmark 1937 Tumacácori Museum building, also a National Historic Landmark.
The O'odham peoples, including the Tohono O'odham, the Pima or Akimel O'odham, and the Hia C-ed O'odham, are an indigenous Uto-Aztecan peoples of the Sonoran desert in southern and central Arizona and northern Sonora, united by a common heritage language, the O'odham language. Today, many O'odham live in the Tohono O'odham Nation, the San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Gila River Indian Community, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Ak-Chin Indian Community or off-reservation in one of the cities or towns of Arizona.
Beginning in the 16th century Spain established missions throughout New Spain in order to facilitate colonization of these lands.
Mission San José de Tumacácori is a historic Spanish mission preserved in its present form by Franciscans in 1828.
Mission Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi was founded by Jesuit missionary Fathers Kino and Salvatierra in 1691 as La Misión de San Gabriel de Guevavi, a district headquarters in what is now Arizona, near Tumacácori. Subsequent missionaries called it San Rafael and San Miguel, resulting in the common historical name of Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi.
Mission San Cayetano de Calabazas, also known as Calabasas, is a Spanish Mission in the Sonoran Desert, located near present-day near Tumacácori, Arizona.
Juan Bautista de Anza I was a Spanish Basque, and an explorer of a great part of the Sonora state and the south west region of the United States.
The Sobaipuri were one of many indigenous groups occupying Sonora and what is now Arizona at the time Europeans first entered the American Southwest. They were a Piman or O'odham group who occupied southern Arizona and northern Sonora in the 15th-19th centuries. They were a subgroup of the O'odham or Pima, surviving members of which include the residents of San Xavier del Bac which is now part of the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Akimel O'odham.
The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate is a former Spanish military presidio, or fortress, located roughly west of the town of Tombstone, Arizona, in the United States of America.
The history of Tucson, Arizona, begins thousands of years ago. Paleo-Indians practiced plant husbandry and hunted game in the Santa Cruz River Valley from 10,000 B.C. or earlier. Archaic peoples began making irrigation canals, some of the first in North America, around 1,200 B.C. The Hohokam people lived in the Tucson area from around 450-1450 A.D, in a complex agricultural society.
Pima Villages, sometimes mistakenly called the Pimos Villages in the 19th century, were the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee-Posh (Maricopa) villages in what is now the Gila River Indian Community in Pinal County, Arizona. First, recorded by Spanish explorers in the late 17th century as living on the south side of the Gila River, they were included in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, then in Provincias of Sonora, Ostimuri y Sinaloa or New Navarre to 1823. Then from 1824 to 1830, they were part of the Estado de Occidente of Mexico and from September 1830 they were part of the state of Sonora. These were the Pima villages encountered by American fur trappers, traders, soldiers and travelers along the middle Gila River from 1830's into the later 19th century. The Mexican Cession following the Mexican American War left them part of Mexico. The 1853 Gadsden Purchase made their lands part of the United States, Territory of New Mexico. During the American Civil War they became part of the Territory of Arizona.
Mission San Cosme y Damián de Tucsón, originally known as Mission de San Agustin del Tucson. It was located on the west side of the Santa Cruz River, at the base of Sentinel Peak or "A" Mountain in present-day Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.
Nentvig, J. 1980. Rudo Ensayo: A Description of Sonora and Arizona in 1764. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ
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