Kino Heritage Society
September 2017 - 325th Anniversary - Kino Founding Mission San Xavier del Bac
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View Guide to Statues at Mission San Xavier del Bac,
Click Statue Guide
Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J.
(August 10, 1645 - March 15, 1711)
The eminent historian of the American West and UCLA librarian Lawrence Clark Powell described Father Kino as "the noblest Southwesterner of all."
Professor Herbert Bolton, director of the Bancroft Library and the father of the study of Spanish colonial history in the United States described Kino as "the most picturesque missionary pioneer of all North America - explorer, astronomer, cartographer, mission builder, ranchman, cattle king and defender of the frontier." Professor Bolton in his definitive Kino biography "Rim of Christendom" chronicles Kino's life on the frontier as a staunch defender of the rights of the O'odham and other Native Peoples.
Kino was one of the world's greatest missionaries and over 300 years after his death is revered by the Native People he served. Kino wrote that a missionary must have "a strong and loving concern for the temporal and spiritual welfare" of the Native People "while he works hard and maintains a sense of tolerance." For 30 years Kino worked on and beyond the Spanish colonial frontier in today's Southwest United States and Northwest Mexico. For more information about Kino's work as a missionary and Kino's philosophy in his writings,
During his 30 years in the Sonoran Desert,, Kino fought for social justice on behalf of the Native People against those European colonists who relentlessly attempted to enslave the Native People and steal their lands. In one incident Kino established peace between the Western O'odham and the Spanish military after 5 months of violence. Then Kino rode on horseback 1,200 miles in 7 weeks from his mission headquarters to Mexico City to appear before the highest colonial officials. He personally delivered his written report that concluded that the Spanish caused the violence that "is evident that the treatment of the Natives in the Pimería has been very unjust— leading as it has to mistreatment, torture and murder." Kino was a friend and advocate of the Native People and always protected them.
Kino's work including establishing the Pious Fund of the Californias together with his trail blazing in Baja California, Sinoloa, Sonora, and Arizona led to the Spanish settlement of the state of California 60 years after his death by the Portola & Anza Expeditions. Kino's vision for the Californias and his supply of its restarted missions in Baja is important in understanding Kino's life and work. For more information about Kino initiating the Spanish settlement of Baja and Alta California,
click California Pioneer and California Builder.
Kino's reports, diaries and correspondence between Kino and his contemporaries are the best accounts of the daily life of a missionary in the New World. While Kino was working in the Spanish frontier, he gained fame in Europe for his maps of the previously unknown Sonoran Desert. Kino's maps were the definitive maps of the region for over 150 years after his death. For more information about Kino's maps and fame as an explorer,
click Cartographer and Explorer.
Before becoming a New World missionary at age 36, Kino was a mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences professor in Central Europe while completing his training as a Jesuit priest. For more information about Kino's life,
click Kino Life and Chronology.
To view and download the best concise Kino biography in "Not Counting the Cost" (27 pg),
click Best Concise Bio .
For another short Kino biography that is translated in 3 languages,
click English, Spanish and Italian.
To view and download one of the best and most accessible books about Kino's life,
click Best Online Book.
To view a great Kino website written in Spanish that summarizes Kino's work along with selected Kino writings, illustrative images and computer generated expedition route maps,
click El Padre de Sonora.
In 1965 the citizens of Arizona honored Kino by dedicating before 700 dignitaries from all over the world a statue of Kino at the United States Statuary Hall located in the United States Capitol Building. Kino was one of Arizona's two representatives so honored. The 50th anniversary of the dedication was celebrated in Washington D.C., Arizona and the Italian Province of Trento in 2015. For more information about the Kino statue and speeches,
click US Capitol Statue .
After the U.S. statue dedication, the President of Mexico ordered a renewed search for Kino's lost grave. Kino's grave and skeleton was found in May 1966 in Magdalena,Sonora despite a chaotic archeological and historic record and extreme time and budgetary constraints. The international team discovery team included historians and anthropologists from the National Institute of Anthroploogy and History (INAH) of Mexico, the Arizona State Museum and the University of Arizona. The discovery is as suspenseful and compelling as any great detective story. For more information,
click Grave Discovery and Chapel Discovery.
After the discovery of Kino's grave, the Federal Government of Mexico named Kino a "Hero of Mexico" and the city of Magdalena was renamed Magdalena de Kino. In 1972 a national monument was dedciated with a masoleum over Kino's skeletal remains left in place where they were discovered.
In 2006 the Archdiocese of Hermosillo submitted the 160 pounds of documents for the Vatican's consideration of Kino's cause for sainthood. With the acceptance of Kino's cause he was deemed a Servant of God by the Catholic Church. His cause for sainthood is presently under review at the venerable step. For those who believe that Kino is a saint, he is the patron saint for international borderlands of peace and prosperity. Also he is the patron saint for seed savers and sharers. For more information about Kino's sainthood cause,
Since Kino's death in 1711, pilgrims have journeyed in the Fall to Magdalena de Kino and to Kino's grave site to honor the three great Franciscos of the Pimería Alta: Saints Francis Xavier and Francis of Assisi and Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. Kino's Mission San Xavier del Bac outside of Tucson is also an international pilgrimage site. For more information on the Magdalena Pilgrimage and San Xavier del Bac Pilgrimage,
For almost 30 years the horseback riders of Por Los Caminos de Kino have made annual pilgrimages on horseback (cabalgatas) retracing many of Kino's 50 journeys of exploration. For more information about the Kino rides with route maps,
Kino is known for his relationships based on respect and friendship with the Native Peoples of the Sonoran Desert. He traveled into their lands to meet them. The Native People would traveled at all times of the year long distances to Kino's twenty-four missions and visiting stations where they would receive his ministry and help him plant and harvest crops and roundup cattle.
Kino worked for almost a quarter century with the Tohono O'odham (Papago), Akimel O'odham (mid Gila River Pima), Hia C'ed O'odham (Sand Papago) and Sobaípuris (River Pima). For information about today's O'odham people,
click O'odham People.
Kino traveled to the lower Gila and Colorado rivers and to its Pee-Posh (Maricopa), Akwa'ala (Paipai), Cocopah and Quechan (Yuma) people. In his first three years on the frontier Kino peacefully encountered the Cochimi, Monqui, Guaycura, and Pericu of the Baja. He also worked among the Comásc (Seri), Yomeme (Yaqui) and Edueve (Opata) tribes.
Kino explored by sail the waters and rode on horseback the lands of more than 30 protected places and areas later set aside by the national governments of the United States and Mexico and the state governments of the Baja Californias, Sonora and Arizona for natural, cultural and historical conservation purposes For information about national parks, monuments, reserves and wildlife refuges,
click National Parks and Protected Areas.
For information about selected protected places in Southern Arizona,
click Mission San Xavier del Bac and Tumacacácori National Historic Park.
For more information about Kino's other enduring legacies,
click Kino Legacy, Testimonials, Multimedia & Videos, and News.
Padre Kino at San Xavier del Bac
After starting the construction of the first church of San Xavier del Bac in spring 1700, Padre Kino called the "The Blue Shell Conference" and Native People came from through out present day Arizona to see him. The information received at the Blue Shell Conference from the Native People supported Padre Kino's hypothesis that California was part of the mainland and not an island as then believed. Padre Kino's later explorations to the Colorado River verified that there was an overland route to California. His discovery renewed the Jesuit mission efforts in Baja California that Padre Kino first started 15 years before and made Padre Kino's maps world famous.
On his return trip to his mission headquarters in Dolores in present day Sonora, Padre Kino saved a man from execution by riding on horseback over 75 miles in less than 24 hours.
At the invitation of the people of Bac, Padre Kino first visited their village in August 1692. During their 20 year friendship with Padre Kino, the people of Bac journeyed year-round to his missions in Sonora to help him and to receive his ministry.
Click Mission San Xavier for more accounts about Padre Kino and the people of Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Click San Xavier Blue Shell Conference for more about the Spring of 1700 from the book "Kino: A Legacy" by the Spanish colonial historian Charles Polzer, S.J.
Click 1701 Map for Kino's Famous 1701 map showing that Baja California was connected to the mainland. On the map the locations of the villages San Xavier and San Cosme (present day Tucson) are marked below latitude 32 degrees.
Click Cartographer for Padre Kino's other maps and his contributions to world cartographer.
For locations and identification of statues in the mission church and to print Guide click, Statuary Guide
To view 65 of 351 pages of the definitive book on the Mission - "A Gift of Angels: The Art of Mission San Xavier Del Bac" written by Bernard L. Fontana and photographed by Edward McCain. Click Art
To view more incredible interior photos and personal reflections by Miguel Peréz from his blog HiddenHispanicHeritage.com. Click English Text Spanish Text
Mission San Xavier del Bac is an international pilgrimage site. For information about the pilgrimages, click Pilgrimage.
Associated Kino Organizations
Associazione Culturale Padre Eusebio F. Chini
Kino organization in Europe
Website in English, Italian, Spanish and German
For website, click Associazione
Por Los Caminos de Kino
and its Fundación
Kino organization in Mexico
For information in Spanish and English about:
organization and annual cabalgatas, click Caminos de Kino
website, click Fundación
online multimedia, click Caminos Videos
Publication of New Kino Book
"Riding Behind the Padre:
Horseback Views from Both Sides of the Border"
Richard C. Collins
2015 Best Political, Social and Current Event Book by New Mexico Book Co-op
2014 Topic Pick by Southwest Books of the Year.
For book review, click News
Kino Related Events
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
Ted DeGrazia Depicts The Life of Padre Kino
20 Oil Paintings
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
6300 N. Swan Road
Telephone (520) 299-9191 / (800) 886- 5201
Open Daily except select holidays
10 AM to 4 PM.
Fee for Gallery Admission
For more information click DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
Also visit the community chapel on the Gallery grounds.
The Mission in the Sun was built by Ted DeGrazia in honor of Padre Kino.
DeGrazia's Mission in the Sun Chapel
Dedicated to Padre Kino
Resources for the General Reader
1. Book: "Padre Kino: The Trail to the Pacific
Cick Trail Book
2. Summary: Kino Chapter from "Not Counting'The Cost"
Click Best Cocise Bio
3. Summary: "ABCD and E Kino Life Chapters and Historical Atlas"
Click Life Chapters
4. Website: "El Padre de Sonora" in Spanish with expedition maps
click El Padre de Sonora.
Resources for Researchers & Teachers
Topical Page Cross References in Kino Books
Click Cross References
Online Kino Presentations, Music, Art and Movies
Click Video & Multipedia
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