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The Missionaries as They Came and Went
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 (Reducciones de Indios) settlements and encomiendas for agricultural, ranching, and mining labor.
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. 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 and Melilla 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.
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.
Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another. This might be from one to another denomination within the same religion, for example, from Baptist to Catholic Christianity or from Shi’a to Sunni Islam. In some cases, religious conversion "marks a transformation of religious identity and is symbolized by special rituals".
The missions are in an area of the Sonoran Desert, then called "Pimería Alta de Sonora y Sinaloa" (Upper Pima of Sonora and Sinaloa), now divided between the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona. Jesuits in missions in Northwestern Mexico wrote reports that throw light on the indigenous peoples they evangelized.A 1601 report, Relación de la Provincia de Nuestra Señora de Sinaloa was published in 1945. An important Jesuit report concerned the resistance in 1691 of the Tarahumara to evangelization, Historia de la tercera rebelión tarahumara. Another important Jesuit account of evangelization in Sonora is Estado y descripción de Sonora, 1730, which has considerable information about the size of the indigenous population, culture, and languages.
The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is the hottest desert in Mexico. It has an area of 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi). The western portion of the United States–Mexico border passes through the Sonoran Desert.
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.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
In the Spring of 1687, Jesuit missionary named Father Eusebio Francisco Kino lived and worked with the Native Americans (including the Sobaipuri) in the area called the "Pimería Alta," or "Upper Pima Country," which presently is located in northern Sonora and southern Arizona. During Father Eusebio Kino's stay in the Pimería Alta, he founded over twenty missions in eight mission districts.
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.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona, one of the Four Corners states, is bordered by New Mexico to the east, Utah to the north, Nevada and California to the west, and Mexico to the south, as well as the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona's border with Mexico is 389 miles (626 km) long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.
On February 3, 1768, King Carlos III ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain and its overseas empire. Despite the order, many Jesuits remained in and around the present day Tucson, Arizona as late as the 1780s.[ citation needed ]
Charles III was King of Spain (1759–1788), after ruling Naples as Charles VII and Sicily as Charles V (1734–1759). He was the fifth son of Philip V of Spain, and the eldest son of Philip's second wife, Elisabeth Farnese. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he succeeded to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, upon the death of his half-brother Ferdinand VI, who left no heirs.
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).
Fronteras is the seat of Fronteras Municipality in the northeastern part of the Mexican state of Sonora. Frontera translates as Border. The elevation is 1,120 meters and neighboring municipalities are Agua Prieta, Nacozari and Bacoachi. The area is 2839.62 km², which represents 1.53% of the state total.
Mission Nuestra Señora de los Dolores is a former Mission church in Sonora, Mexico.
Mission San Pedro y San Pablo del Tubutama is located in Tubutama, Sonora and was first founded in 1691 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino.
The overseas expansion under the Crown of Castile was initiated under the royal authority and first accomplished by the Spanish conquistadors. The Americas were incorporated into the Spanish Empire, with the exception of Brazil, Canada, and several other small countries in South America and The Caribbean. The crown created civil and religious structures to administer the region. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Catholic faith through indigenous conversions.
The Tohono O'odham 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 O'odham means "Desert People". The federally recognized tribe is known as the Tohono O'odham Nation.
Mission 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 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.
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.
A presidio is a fortified base established by the Spanish in areas under their control or influence. The term is derived from the Latin word praesidium meaning protection or defense.
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.
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 officer of Basque heritage, and an explorer of a great part of the Sonora state and the south west region of the United States.
Cucurpe is the municipal seat of Cucurpe Municipality in the Mexican state of Sonora.
Tubutama is a town in Tubutama Municipality, in the north-west of the Mexican state of Sonora. Eusebio Kino, SJ, founded Mission San Pedro y San Pablo del Tubutama in 1691. Tubutama was the headquarters of religious administration for the entire Pimería Alta during much of the Jesuit and Franciscan period of Spanish colonial rule.
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.
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.