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San Xavier del Bac. Founded 1692. The Main Portal. 

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Librarian, University of Arizona 

With Map and Twenty Reproductions From 


F. E. A. Kimball, Stationer and Printer 


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The Mission of San Xavier del Bac, situated on an elevation 
frontier the Sierrieta Mountains to the south, is a conspicuous 
monument which may be seen distinctly, not only from Tucson, 
nine miles distant, but from all directions in the Valley of the 
Santa Cruz. Father Kino,i a Jesuit priest, who first visited Bac 
in 1692, laid the foundations of a mission church there in 1700. 
The Jesuits, by royal order, were expelled in 1767, and their 
missions taken over by the Franciscans in 1768. 

How muph of this present structure belongs to the period of 
Jesuit occupation is a matter of conjecture. The retention of 
the name San Xavier,^ one of the founders of the Jesuit Order, 
is regarded by some to indicate that sufficient progress had been 
made in the plans and in the execution of them to make the 
church their work. The exact date of its erection, however, 
seems not to be a matter of record. The date of 1797 to be seen 
on the door of the Sacristy is generally regarded as the date of 

The building, which is of burned brick, fronts south and is 
67 by 105 feet with two towers and a dome. It is of mission 
architecture, that is, the architecture of the Spanish Renaissance, 
modified by native influences. The Byzantine and Moorish ele- 
ments not only show the changes common to the cathedrals of 
Mexico, but also in decoration suggest the barbaric touch of the 
Aztec. It departs from the designs made familiar by the Fran- 
ciscan missions of California, built some sixty years later. These 
points of difference as affecting the construction are, the cuni- 
form^ plan; high arches; central dome; and two bell towers, 
€ach surmounted by a small dome. Perhaps no mission of the 
Southwest more completely embodies all the elements which 
enjer into the new architectural form called the Mission Style, 
than does San Xavier. Its architecture is thus described by Mr. 
Duell : "San Xavier is for the most part of Byzantine influence, 

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especially as to its cruciform plan, general construction and most 
of its interior decorations. Its stilted arches, domes, and fan- 
tastic windows, are, however, Moorish. In fact, the lower half 
of the interior with its many statuettes, frescoes, and glitter of 
gold is Byzantine, while the upper part, with its arches, windows 
and domes impresses one as Moorish. The distinctive towers 
and belfries were developed in Mexico and most of the accented 
yet restrained decoration has a touch of the Aztec." 


The Fachada is a fine example of the Spanish Renaissance, com- 
paring favorably with many similar compositions in Spain. Over 
the doors of mesquite wood which form the entrance is a rich 
ornamentation of arabesques* in low relief, dullish red in color 
preserving the original tints as does the whole fachada. On each 
side of the entrance are two fanciful columns of Moorish^ design, 
and beyond the outer columns, the crozier, conventionalized into 
an architectural ornament. 

Between the columns are four figures in niches without in- 
scriptions. The first above and to the left, attired in crown and 
royal robe, is the statue of Saint Elizabeth, prominently identified 
with the Third Order« of the Franciscans. The figure below, 
though nearly effaced, is judged, from its black robe, to be that of 
a Jesuit priest. To the right the upper figure with the tambourine 
is St. Cecilia. The one in the niche below is blackened and almost 
a mass of candle grease. The Indians still burn candles in the 
niche, saying that the saint cures their sore eyes. Because of this 
practice which has continued for many years it is thought that the 
image was likely that of St. Lucy. 

Above the doors of the balcony which is over the entrance is 
placed the coat of arms of the order of St. Francis of Assisi.*^ 
It consists of an escutcheon with a white ground on which are 
displayed a twisted cord, a part of the Franciscan dress; and a 
cross on which are nailed one arm of the Savior and one of St. 
Francis. The arm of Jesus is bare, while that of St. Francis is 
covered. To the right of the escutcheon is the monogram of 

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Door of main entrance. Interior. Doors of solid 
mesquite, swung on original hand made hinges, and 
fastened with locks and bolts of the same period. The 
long bolt is hand carved. 

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Jesus the Savior of men and to the left that of the Virgin Mary. 
Ornamental bunches of grapes and melons to be seen in the upper 
decoration are said to signify the land of plenty; the two small 
lions on either side, a symbol used throughout the building, un- 
doubtedly represent the Lions of Castile. Surmounting th^ 
broken gable is what remains of a lifesize statue of St. Francis of 

On the interior directly above the entrance is the choir loft and 
at the opposite end the main altar. The plan of the Mission .is 
that of a Latin cross,^ the transepts dividing the church into aps6 
and nave, and themselves forming two chapels on either side. 
The high arches, springing from the Franciscan frieze around the 
wall, and the pilasters, divide the church into six parts. Over the 
crossing of transept and nave, the dome rises on the arches and 
pendentives. On the west, or to the left as you enter is a small 
door which opens to the baptistry in the tower. In the center of 
this room is the baptismal font, the pedestal and bowl of which 
are of baked brick, the latter inclosing a bowl of copper with a 
cover of the same metal, engraved on top with the monogram, 
I. H. S. On the wall of the room is a large fresco of the Baptism 
of Christ. 

From the baptistry, stairs take us to the choir vestry adjoining 
the choir loft. The best view of the interior of the church may 
be obtained from here. Upon the walls are the frescoes of the 
Holy Family, St. Francis, represented as rapt by heavenly love in 
a fiery chariot, and St. Dominic^ receiving the Rosary from the 
Virgin Mary. In the pendentives are the four Evangelists with 
their characteristic symbols, — the winged man, the winged lion, 
the ox, and the eagle. On the arch over .the, choir loft is depicted 
the heart of Mary pierced by an arrow ; on the arch to the north, 
the heart of the Savior encircled by the crown of thorns. " From* 
the choir vestry the stairs lead to the belfry. 

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Baptismal Font in center of Baptistry. Pedestal and bowl of baked 
brick, inclosing a copper bowl with cover of copper, engraved on top with 
monogram I. H. S. 

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Descending the stairs and entering the nave there may be seen 
on the east of the arch which springs from the first pilaster and 
which upholds the choir loft above, a fresco of St. Pascal Baylon, 
a Franciscan and the patron of the Eucharist ; on the west of this 
arch a fresco of St. Francis. Farther on is another door which 
opened to the outside and toward the mortuary chapel. Then 
comes a second pilaster in which is a niche containing a small 
figure of St. Matthew. Next may be seen a fresco (9x5 feet) of 
the Last Supper, faded and darkened by time. The third, a 
double pilaster, which finishes one corner where the transept 
crosses the nave, has a niche on either side, containing the figures 
of two apostles, the inscriptions under which have not been 

Continuing along the west side one finds within the Gospel 
Chapel formed by the transept, two altars. The larger one at the 
end is similar to the main altar. It contains the Ecce Homo and 
is dedicated to the Passion. Above the Ecce Homo is a statue 
of St. Francis of Assisi. The second altar which is to the right 
is dedicated to St. Joseph. Above the statue of St. Joseph is that 
of St. Dominic, portrayed as in art, with a small dog at his left 
side.^a It may be noticed that in this chapel the cherubs which 
bear the candlesticks in the shape of cornucopias are tiny Indian 
figures. The cherubs which decorate both chapels symbolize the 
"choir of angels" and are a common decoration in the rococo style 
of the 17th and 18th centuries. On the southwest wall of this 
chapel are two frescoes ; the upper one is that of the Presentation 
in the Temple; and the lower, the Virgin of the Pillar (the appa- 
rition of the Holy Virgin to St. James at Saragossa.) Below this 
stands the old confessional chair inclosed in a curtained booth. 


The apse contains the main altar. It is inclosed by a low 

hand-carved railing, decorated in red and green, colors which are 

symbolic of faith and hope. On either side of the gateway is the 

grotesque figure of a lion,io which at one time held a large 

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wooden candlestick. The lion as a symbol of watchfulness is often 
found in early Christian churches as guard to a sacred entrance. 
The two double pilasters at the meeting of the transept and apse 
contain respectively; on the west the figures of St. James the 
Greater and one which is likely St. John; and on the east, St. 
Matthias and St. Ignatius Loyola /"-i Above these figures two 
angels of life size are hung. They are clad in draperies made' of 
canvas dipped in paint. Tradition has it that these are likeriesses 
of the two daughters of the artist who decorated the interior. 
Each at one time held a silken banner on which appeared the 
words "Gloria in Excclsis Deo*'. These banners are still pre- 
served but are only displayed at the feast of St. Francis which 
occurs on the third of December.^^ f^e main altar is dedicated 
to St. Francis Xavier. His figure, which occupies the chief posi- 
tion, wears the biretta and robes of velvet and linen. Above is 
the figure of the Virgin Mary with the statue of St. Peter at her 
right and that of St. Simon beneath ; the statue of vSt. 
Paul on her left and beneath this that of St. Andrew. Sur- 
mounting the altar is the half-figure of God the Father. The left 
hand rests on the orb, the attribute of sovereignty; the right has 
three fingers uplifted bestowing the blessing of the Trinity. Be- 
low the figure of St. Francis is the tabernacle containfng the 
Eucharist, which bears above its door in imperfect Spanish the 
inscription "Garandioz". At the sides of the tabernacle are the 
sacred symbols of the ladder, the cedar of Lebanon, the palm, 
and the tower of ivory. 


On the cast, above the sacristy door, are the frescoes The 
Adoration of the Wise Men, and The Flight into Egypt. On the 
opposite wall. The Adoration of the Shepherds, and The An- 
nunciation. Near the altar stand a itiassive table and a single 
bench with a low back, which, to judge from the design, belong 
to the furniture of the early mission days. The tradition among 
the Indians is that these two pieces were in the original church 

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built by Father Kino. The door beneath the fresco, The Adora- 
tion of the Wise Men, opens into the sacristy. On the sacristal 
side of the door is the inscription Pedro Boj(orque)s Ano die 
1797, conjectured to be the name of the builder and the date of 
the completion of the church-^''^^ A fresco of the crucifixion, the 
largest and best preserved of any of the frescoes in the church, 
appears on the north wall of the sacristy. 

Proceeding from the nave along the east side we find the 
second chapel formed by the transepts, named the Epistle Chapel. 
Here also are two altars, one dedicated to the Mother of Sorrows 
and one to the Immaculate Conception. On the right wall of the 
chapel are two frescoes, one portraying the Madonna of the 
Rosary, and the other above, a scene from the Hidden Life of the 
Savior, or that undescribed period of His life between His ap- 
pearance with the doctors in the Temple, and His public preach- 
ing. Saints of the Third Order of St. Francis are in medallions 
near the ceiling of both this and the Gospel Chapels. 

Stepping back into the nave we pass the fourth corner pilaster 
containing the figure of St. Thaddeus, the last in order of the 
twelve apostles. The niche for Judas is empty and concealed 
behind the pulpit. The pulpit which may well be the original 
one, shows hand-carving of excellent workmanship. The next 
pilaster contains the figure of St. James the Less. On this east 
wall opposite the fresco of The Last Supper is one of correspond- 
ing size representing The Coming of the Holy Ghost upon the 
Disciples. The door beyond, opposite the one leading to the 
baptistry, opens into the living quarters of the Mission. 

The frescoes on the pendentives upholding the drum, picture 
four doctors of the church, commonly stated to be St. Gregory, 
St. Francis de Sales, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. The 
dome itself is covered with paintings of various personages of the 
Franciscan Order who occupied high rank in the church. These 
mural decorations, together with the many statuettes of the Order 
which are placed in the Chapels, furnish proof that the Mission 

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Figure of St. Matthew. 

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was finished under the supervision of the Franciscan and not the 
Jesuit Order. The fourteen framed pictures portraying scenes of 
the Passion and placed as Stations about the walls were taken 
from the old church of St. Augustine in Tucson. 

A Franciscan frieze which forms the front of the balcony is the 
main decorative feature of the interior, projecting on the average 
seventeen inches from the surface of the wall. It is made wholly 
of brick, none of which has been cut, being made by a method 
very similar to that employed today in the setting of terra cotta. 
This motif is used throughout the whole building to form the 
cornices, copings, and capitals of columns. The design is com- 
posed of the Franciscan cord, the bell and the pomegranate.^^ 
The cord falls in two tassels on either side of the statue of the 
Jesuit, St. Francis Xavier, who as the patron saint of the Mission 
occupies the main altar. From the cord falls a sort of hem, rep- 
resenting the folds of a robe. Along this hem are hung alter- 
nately the bell and the pomegranate. 

The vaults of the ceiling are ridged to represent shells, while 
the vault over the apse forms a perfect shell, springing from 
the altar as a center. The shell is employed throughout as one of 
the many forms of symbolic decoration. The cockle shelU* was 
the symbol of St. James, or San Diego, the patron saint of Spain. 



The Records were discovered by Professor H. E. Bolton, in 
the City of Mexico, about twelve years ago and published in 1919. 

1692 Father Kino records in detail in his Journal that he visited 
Bac^s for the first time in this year. Bac was a village of 
the Sobaipuri Pimas. It was at this time that Kino gave it 
the name of San Xavier. 

1694 Kino again passed through Bac on his way to and from 
Casa Grande^^ of which he gives the first known descrip- 

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The old confess:onal chair removed from the curtained booth. Above this, 
a fresco of Our Lady of the Pillar. 

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1695 Father Kino went all the way to Mexico City lo obtain new 
missionaries to enable him to found new missions toward 
the north of Dolores. 

1697 Father Kino established a stock ranch at Bac, January 
1697, for the support of the projected Mission. In Novem- 
ber of the same year Kino passed through Bac and counted 
in its neighborhood more than 6000 Indians. He mentioned 
that an oven which he had ordered had been installed there. 

1699 Father Kino, accompanied by Gonzalvo, again visited Bac. 
He mentions the existence of an earth roofed adobe 
house, evidently for the use of visiting missionaries; also, 
of extensive progress in irrigation, *' Sufficient for another 
city like Mexico." He speaks of 1000 souls over whom 
Gonzalvo afterwards became resident missionary. 

1700 Father Kino held at Bac a council of Indians to determine 
whether California was an island or a peninsula, and while 
there laid the cornerstone of the Mission. He reports that 
he found there 3000 souls. In the summer of 1700 Kino 
sent 700 cattle from Dolores to re-stock the ranch at Bac. 
Corrals were built for them. His statement is as follows : 
"On the 28th we began the foundations of a very large and 
capacious church of San Xavier del Bac, all the many 
people working with much pleasure and zeal, some in 
digging for the foundations, others in hauling many and 
very good stones of tesontle from a little hill which was 
about a quarter of a league away. For the mortar for these 
foundations it was not necessary to haul water, because by 
means of the irrigation ditches we very easily conducted the 
water where we wished. And that house, with its great 
court and garden near by, will be able to have throughout 
the year all the water it may need, running to any place or 
work-room one may please, and one of the greatest and 
best fields in all Nueva Biscaya." 

1701 "This year the Father Provincial sent us four new Fathers 
for this Pimeria" . . . They found the many docile 

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people and cattle, crops and harvests and the beginnings of 
houses and churches, which his Reverence had seen with his 
eyes, and they remained very well content, with great hopes 
of establishing there in the interior some very flourishing 
missions, as they said and wrote to me and to other persons 
on different occasions." Father Kino asked to be made 
missionary of Bac, but his services were required at Do- 
lores. Father Gonzalvo put in charge of the Mission. Con- 
struction of Mission buildings continued. 

1702 Father Kino visits the Mission for the last time. Under 
this date he speaks of work "on the very large church of 
San Xavier del Bac." 

1703 The church was still unfinished and at this time there was 
no resident missionary (v. 2, p. 35). Apparently there was 
no resident missionary for some twenty years subsequent 
to this date. 


1721 Church registers^^ show that Father Joseph Torres Perea 
was in charge. It is not certain whether he was a resident 
or visiting missionary. 

1732 By this time regular missionary work was renewed at Bac, 
and was continuous thereafter. Father Segesser was sent 
to Bac and Grashofer to Guevavi. 

1751 The Pimas revolted and the Mission was plundered, ac- 
cording to the statement of Father Paver in the church 
register. Father Paver and the missionary of Guevavi 
escaped to Sonora, but Father Tello was killed at Caborca 
and Father Ruen at Sonoita. 

1752 To protect the frontier missions the Presidio of Tubac^* 
was founded. 

1754 The Indians return, and are in charge of Father Paver. 
1767 The Jesuits were expelled from Spain and its possessions. 

The missions in this vicinity were abandoned by the 


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St. Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Jesuit Order. 

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1768 The Franciscans were ordered to take over the abandoned 
missions. Francisco Garces was sent to San Xavier. Ac- 
corddng to Arricivita the mission buildings were destroyed 
in this year by the Apaches. 

1772 Father Reyes in describing San Xavier under this date 
says: "The church is fairly large". From this it is in- 
ferred that the present large church had not been built. He 
continues with the following description: "[and] adorned on 
the sides with two paintings in gilt frames. The sacristy 
has four chalices, two not usable, monstrance, censer, plate 
and cruets with a conch all of silver, four ornaments of 
various colors, with other decorations for the altar ao<l for 
divine worship, all very poor." 

Writing of the Indian village of Tucson2o at this time, 
Reyes states : "The *pueblo de visita'21 San Jose del Tuc- 
son is situated six leagues to the north of San Javier. It 
has no church nor house for the missionary. On account 
of the fertility of the soil, there are united and congregated 
in the form of a town, a growing number of Indians, 
Christian and heathen. It has not been possible to make a 
census, but the opinion is that there are more than two 
hundred heads of families. (Documentos para la historia 
de Mexico.) 

1779 San Xavier was included in ihe new diocese of Sonora, of 
which Father Reyes was the first Bishop. 

1797 Conjectural date of the completion of the present mission 
building. See date on door of sacristy. 

1813 The Spanish Cortes passed a decree depriving the mission- 
aries of all control of their missions. 

1821 Mexico declared herself a republic. The Spanish Govern- 
ment withdraws financial aid from all the Spanish missions. 

1826 In the general Mexican attack against the Spanish, the 
Fathers were all driven out. San Xavier remained for 
some years without a priest. 

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The two figures of life size represent two of the archangels. 

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1852 Visited by the United States and Mexican Boundary party.2* 
See drawing and Bartlett*s description. 

1854 The year of the "Gadsden Purchase'*. The Territory of 
Arizona is formed, and the Mission is within the boundaries 
of the United States. 

1859 Arizona put in the diocese of New Mexico. San Xavier 
visited at this time by Father Machebeuf, who later became 
the first Bishop of Denver. He made extensive repairs on 
the building. - .. ■ : , 

1866 A gdvernment school for the Papagoes at San Xavier was 

proposed by the Indian agent as mentioned in the Report 

of the; Commissioner of Indian Affairs of this year. It 

seems that the plan was not carried out but that a teacher 

sent by the Bishop conducted a school for a few months. 

1873 The Indian Agent for the Papago Indians reported as fol- 
lows : "I have received $2,500 to be devoted to educational 
purposes, and with this sum I have erected a school-house. 
The building is over 100 feet long, surrounded by a good 
wall, and is conveniently divided into rooms for the accom- 
modation of classes and teachers. I have engaged two 
Sisters from St. Joseph's Academy to teach the school." 

1876 By order of the Department of Indian Affairs, the Papago 
Agency was consolidated with that of the Pimas on the 1st 
of April, 1876. At that time, government support was 
withdrawn from the school at San Xavier. 

1906 Restoration of the building under the supervision of Bishop 

1908 The "Grotto of Lourdes"23 erected on the small hill near 
the Mission. 

1. Pather Kino (Chino) was born an Italian; became a 

Jesuit in Austria; came to Mexico in May, 1681. He was a 

missionary in Lower California, 1683-1685; came to Sonora m 

1687, and established headquarters at Mission Dolores, foundmg 

numerous missions in northern Sonora. San Xavier Mission is 

the northernmost of a chain of Jesuit missions founded in the 

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Door of the Sacristy. The date 1797 and name 
Pedro Boj(orque)s carved on the sacristal door, con- 
jectured as the name of the builder and date of the 
completion of the building. 

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17th and 18th centuries, extending the entire length of Sinaloa, 
Sonora, Lower California, and into Arizona. (These were in 
the diocese of Durango.) 

2. Francisco Xavier, 1506-1552, born at Castle of Xaviero, 
Navarre. A famous Spanish Jesuit missionary, called "The 
Apostle to the Indians," because of his labors there. He was 
educated at the University of Paris, and was one of the founders 
of the Society of Jesus. 

3. The cruciform plan. In architecture the plan of the church 
takes the form of the Cross, the chief symbol of the sorrows and 
sufferings of the Redeemer. 

4. The term arabesque (Arabian-like), is applied generally to 
geometric surface display, whether in plaster or painted tile. 

5. Moorish ornament. "This was chiefly surface ornament, 
bounded by flat planes and regulated as far as motif was con- 
emed by the rules of the Koran, which prohibited the copying of 
'natural objects." "The Saracens covered their buildings with 
geometric intertwining designs, which in addition they treated 
with gorgeous coloring in red, white, blue, silver, or gold, pro- 
ducing a most brilliant fretted surface, or carpet-like effect." 

6. The three Orders of the Franciscans are (1) the priests, 
(2) the pbor Clares, and (3) the lay members. 

7. St, Francis of Assisi, a celebrated Italian monk and 
preacher. He turned, after a serious illness in his youth, to a 
life of ascetic devotion, and in 1210 founded the Order of Fran- 

8. The architectural descriptions used throughout are taken 
from Prent. Ducll: "Mission Architecture." The photographs 
of details were taken by J. G. Brown. 

9. St, Dominic, 1170-1221, born at Calahorra, Old Castile, 
Spain. The founder of the order of Dominicans. The Roman 
Breviary states that when heresy was devastating the country of 
Toulouse, St. Dominic earnestly besought the help of the Virgin 
Mary, and was instructed by her to preach the Rosary among 
the people as an antidote to heresy and sin. From this time 
forth this manner of prayer was widely followed, and St. Dominic 
regarded as its institntor and author. 

9a. The dog at the side of St. Dominic with a firebrand in its 
mouth signifies the saint's eloquence as a preacher. The similarity 
of the name Dominicans to the Latin Domini canes caused them 
to be called the dogs of the Lord. 

10. "The lion was believed by mediaeval writers always to sleep 
with its eyes open, an idea that they in turn borrowed from more 
ancient authors, in lieu of investigating for themselves. Hence 

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The Mother of Sorrows. 

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the idea of watchfulness was super-added to the other qualities 
ascribed to the lion. The lion is not infrequently found in early 
Christian churches, and especially those under Lombard influ- 
ence, as a sentinel at the door, as the base of pillars, or at the foot 
of pulpits." 

11. Lcyyola, Ignatius, 1491-1556. Born at the castle of Loyola, 
Guipuzcoa, Spain. A Spanish soldier and prelate, founder of 
the Society of Jesus. 

12. The Feast of St. Francis, December 3d. The Papagoes 
elect a new chief for the coming year at this time, and transfer 
the flag and cane of office with special ceremony, following the 
picturesque services in honor of St. Francis. 

.12a, It is known that the Gaona brothers were also concerned 
in the building of the mission. Henry O. Jaastad, a Tucson 
architect, on a visit to Caborca, Sonora, the summer of 1922, met 
the great grandson of one of the Gaona brothers. He stated that 
his great grandfather was the original designer of the mission and 
that when he was called to supervise the building of the mission 
at Caborca, Pedro Bojorques was left to finish San Xavier. 
(Arizona Daily Star, July 2Z, 1922.) 

13. The pomegranate is a vety old and much used symbol. 
The design of the bells and pomegranates is apparently the old 
Egyptian lotus and bud border, such a pattern having lost its 
original meaning in the course of transfer to other lands. Bells 
are mentioned on the border of the High Priest's robe (Hast- 
ings.) The Priest's robe of blue is thus described: 

And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates 
of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem 
thereof; and bells of gold between them round about; a golden 
bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon 
the hem of the robe round about. 

f ■ And it shall be upon Aaron to minister : and his sound shall be 
heard<;w}ien he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and 
when^he cometh out, that he die not. Exodus 28 .ZZ, 34, 35. 

14. The escallop shell. Every pilgrimage has its especial sym- 
bol. That for Compostella was the escallop shell. The city of 
Compostella became, in the 8th century, one ot the great centers 
of attractive force to the pilgrims, from a legend that the body 
of St. James had been discovered there; and in the 9th century 
the Galilean fisherman was transformed into the patron saint of 
Spain and led her chivalry, we are told, against he Moorish 
infidels. At the battle of Clavigo, A. D. 844, in which 60,000 
Moors were slain, St. James was said to have appeared on a 
white horse, the housings charged with escallops, and led the 

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Fresco in the Epistle chapel. Our Lady ot the Rosary. Spanish in <lesigD. 

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Original pulpit, hand carved, rich dark pine put together with wooden pegs. 

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Church Register to be found at San Xavier. Earliest entry Feb. 19, 1721. 
These are probably the oldest written records of any kind to be found in the 
State of Arizona. 

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Church Hcpister. Kiitrios iiiii.lo by li:illh;iMir Cjirrillo uiulcr wIiono admin 
istration it is thought that San .Xavicr was completed. 

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Christian hosts to victory. Thenceforth enthusiasm for lo potent 
a champion of the faith rapidly grew. 

15. Bac, Papago word meaning marshy ground, or place where 
there is water. Father Kino describes at length the great fer- 
tility of this region. At that time it was the largest settlement 
in Pimeria Alta. 

16. Casa Grande, or Great House, so named by Father Kino, 
. now the Casa Grande National Monument. 

17. Pimeria Alta, the home of the upper Pimas, extended from 
the valley of the Altar River to that of the Gila, and thus in- 
cluded that part of Arizona which was later contained in the 
Gadsden Purchase. The region had been entered by Friar 
Marcos de Niza in 1539. It had been crossed on its eastern and 
western edges by different divisions of the Coronado party, and 
ia 1604 Onate had descended Bill Williams Fork and the Colorado. 
Between that time and- the Pima revolt of 1680 the colonists of 
New Mexico opened a trade with the Pimas of the Sai. Pedro 
River Valley. But no record has come to us of w>painards having 
entered what is now Arizona from the south, after 1542, until the 
advent there of Father Kino, and when he arrived in Northern 
Sonora in 1687 all the region beyond the Altar River Valley was 
practically unknown. (Bolton: Spanish Explorations in the 
Southwest, p. 428.) 

18. There are preserved at San Xavier two Church Registers 
of baptisms, marriages and deaths. They are written in Spanish, 
with the interpolation here and there of Latin phrases. The iirst 
volume dates from the 19th of February, 1721, to February, 1763. 
The second from 1773 to 1826. There are interspered with these 
entries, brief statements of an historical character, as for instance, 
the one on the page photographed, 1780, stating the death of one 
of the priests at the hands of an Apache. The first volume covers 
nearly the whole of the Jesuit occupation of the missionary field 
ministered to by the missions Sonoita, Tumacacori, Guevavi, San 
Xavier del Bac, Tubac, Arivaca, Tucson, Calabasas. 

The most successful of the early missionaries, judging from the 
number of baptisms recorded, was Francisco Paver. In 1754, on 
the third day of January, he lists twenty-one baptisms during his 
visit to Pueblo San Xavier del Bac, and thirty-nine on the same 
day at the Pueblo of Tucson. It is Father Paver also who re- 
counts in these registers an uprising of the Pima Indians in 1751, 
which he said was not completely controlled until 1754. 

The second volume of the registers originally covered the 
period of the Franciscan occupation of the missions down to 
1826, the date of the Mexican Revolution, at which time the 

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missions were left without a priest. The earlier pages have been 
lost. For the most part it chronicles the work of the mission 
San Jose de Tumacacori. On the date of 1822 there is an entry 
made by Fray Ramon Liberos which speaks of the removal of the 
bodies of Balthazar Carrillo and Narciso Gutierrez from the old 
church to the new, showing that the present church at Tuma- 
cacori, which is now partly in ruins, was new at that date. 

When the Franciscans took over the Mission in 1768, Francisco 
Garces was placed in charge, his administration beginning June 
of that year. 

From 1780 to 1794 Balthazar Carrillo was superior of the 
Mission at Bac. Narciso Gutierrez, his successor and assistant, 
remained in charge till 1799. It is thought that the church 
building was planned and finished within the administration of 
these two priests. 

19. Tubac. A presidio was established here in 1752 for the 
protection of San Xavier, twenty miles distant. Bartlett, in his 
Personal Narratives, 1852, mentions that it contained a few 
dilapidated buildings and an old church. In 1858-60 the restored 
ruins of old Tubac were occupied by a small mixed i^opulation of 
Americans and Mexicans. Arizona's first newspaper, the Weekly 
Arizonian, was published here from 1859-60. The printing press 
may now be seen in the rooms of the Arizona Pioneer Society, 

20. Tucson. The eastern base of the mountain known as 
Sentinel Peak, which lies west of Tucson, Arizona, is the site of 
an aboriginal settlement, or village, of the Papago Indians. The 
Papago name, for the settlement was Took-zone, meaning Black 
Base, a name given both to the dark volcanic rock forming the 
base of the mountain, and to the adjacent village. This village 
was known to Father Kino as San Augustine, and mentioned by 
him in 1699; it was a vista of San Xavier Mission in 1763, and 
there was a Spanish settlement hard by in 1776 when the Presidio 
was moved hither from Tubac, this Spanish settlement being 
called San Augustine de Tuquison, while the aboriginal village 
was known as San Augustine del Pueblito de Tuquison. 

The Indian name was variously rendered, Teuson, Tucson, 
Tubson, Tuczon, Tulqueson, Toson, being among the more rea- 
sonable variants, while Tucson has prevailed since the Gadsden 
Purchase. The aboriginal Papago name, has, however, remained 
in constant use among the tribesmen, who retain definite tradi- 
tions of the ancient settlement, which was still occupied by them 
until >yithin a generation. It is merely a curious coincidence that 
the origin of the name may be traced to the Pima term styuk-son, 

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meaning "dark" or "brown spring ;" for not only has the Papago 
occupancy and usas^e been continuous since prehistoric times, 
but there is no spring of any color there, still less at the desert 
settlement of Little Tucson. (Condensed from W. J. McGee, 
Carnegie Inst. Pub. No. 6, pp. 15-17.) 

21. Visita was a visiting charge, a clerical outpost having no 
resident priest, but visited by some padre sent from the principal 
mission of which this point was an outside station. 

22. J. R. Bartlett, of the U. S. and Mexican Boundary Com- 
mission, gives the following Dpsrription of Son Xavier in his 
Personal Narratives, July 19, 1852: *We were off this morning 
before the sun had risen, and soon entered a thickly wooded 
valley of mezquit. A ride of nine miles brought us to the Mission 
of San Xavier del Bac * * * the largest and most beautiful 
church in the state of Sonora. Tt is built of brick on the summit 
of a low hill, and has two towers and a dome. In a square 
around and directly connected with the church are some adobe 
houses, which were occupied when the Mission was in a flourish- 
ing state. All save one are now tenantless, and this, which ad- 
joins the church, is occupied by the only Mexican family in the 
place, * * *." 

"This church has more pretensions to architectural beauty than 
any I saw in the country, although its general character is the 
same. Tt is elaborately ornamented inside and out, and contains 
many decorations new in architecture, partaking neither of the 
Greek, Roman, nor Gothic orders. Along the eaves is a row of 
queer looking creatitres, the like of which cannot probably be 
found, even in this country of strange animals. The interior is 
gaudily painted ; and from the profusion of gilding, one micfht 
suppose the Mission to have possessed a gold placer. * * * This 
church was built toward the close of the last century from the 
produce of the mission lands, and is throughout in a good slate 
of preservation.*' (Vol. 2, pp. 298-99.) 

23. The Grotto c\f Lourdes is a replica of the one at Lourdes, 
France. It was set up as a shrine by Bishop Granjon in 19C>8. 
and crowns the summit of the little Mountain of the Holy Cross, 
which is near the mission buildinc^s. It is approached J)y a well 
graded road, that half way up the mountain separates and en- 
circles it. P'rom here may be obtained a fine view of the Valley 
of the Santa Cruz. 

It should not be forgotten by the visitor that the Mission, as 
founded by Father Kino, was a highly organized establishment : 

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that its purpose, like that of other mission plants at similar cen- 
ters, was to Christianize and civilize the Indian population. To 
quote from Bolton: (Father Kino) "was great not only as a d 
missionary and church builder, but also as explorer and Church- . 
man. * ♦ * * The work which Father Kino did as a ranchman, ! 
or stockman, would alone stamp him as an unusual business man, 
and make him worthy of remembrance. He was easily the 
Cattle King of his day and region." 

In this a^c of scientific observation and experin'cnt, it is dii!icult 
to do credit to the zeal of these men of liberal education and 
heroic courage who, like Kino, renounced all for an ideal, and who, 
though practical to a degree, expressed their belief in some form 
of mysticism. Co-operating with them, the writers, architects 
and carvers created a symbolism which stressed the supernatural, 
mystical and unaccountable. San Xavier, in its original setting, 
still surrounded by the Papago Indian huts, remains an outward 
and visible sign of the power of this idea. In its quiet beauty 
and isolation it continues to make its appeal even to the modern 

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