Home Page

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, 
click Missionary

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 "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, advocate and protector of the Native People.

Kino also tried to break the cycle of violence as a result of raids of O'odham communities and Spanish settlements by Athabascan speaking groups. Kino continually sent entreaties of peace to these groups.

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 letters, reports and other writings are the best contemporary records beginning in the later 17th century of the history, ethnology and geography of the Spanish frontier located in today's Arizona and Sonora borderlands. Also Kino's descriptions of his 3 years in Baja California are one of the best accounts of a daily life of a missionary in the New World. For more information about Kino writings,
click Historian

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 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, Chapel Discovery and Olvera Account.

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,
click Canonization.

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,
click 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,
click Cabalgatas.

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 raise cattle, sheep and horses.

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, Sinaloa, 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 Tumacácori National Historic Park.

For more information about Kino's other enduring legacies,
click Kino Legacy,  Testimonials,  Multimedia & Videos, and News.

For resources useful to researchers, teachers and the general reader including Kino's Writings, Guides and Online Resources and summary of Kino's life chapters with maps

click Resources, Life Summary Chapters; and Topical Page Cross References in Kino Books.

Mission San Xavier del Bac
San Xavier District of the O'odham Nation
Tucson, Arizona

Mission San Xavier del Bac

At the invitation of the O'odham People, Padre Kino first visited their village of Bac in 1692 and founded Mission San Xavier del Bac. Kino named the mission in honor of his patron saint and exemplar, the great Jesuit missionary to Asia, Francis Xavier. Today the Mission continues to serve the O'odham People as an active parish church.

The Mission San Xavier del Bac attracts visitors annually in the tens of thousands from throughout the world including those journeying on the Camino de Kino pilgrimage trail. The mission is located 10 miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona on the San Xavier District of the O'odham Nation in the community of Wa:k.

The church's Moorish architecture and Baroque art is considered to be the finest expression of the Spanish Colonial genre in the United States. The Mission is recognized as a National Historic Landmark of the United States and was named to the global World Monuments Fund “Watch” list of irreplaceable heritage sites that are at risk. The Patronato San Xavier, a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization has for over 40 years worked to restore and preserve the Mission church..

For information about the Mission on this website, past and present, including tour information by the docents of the Patronato San Xavier, 
click San Xavier Mission

For a preview link to "A Gift of Angels: The Art of Mission San Xavier Del Bac" -  the definitive book on the statuary, paintings and other art of the Mission.
click Fontana's Gift of Angels.

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 & 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

  Kino Related Events

Permanent Exhibits

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun


Ted DeGrazia Depicts The Life of Padre Kino

20 Oil Paintings
Permanent Exhibit
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
 6300 N. Swan Road
Tucson, Arizona
Telephone (520) 299-9191 / (800) 886- 5201

Open Daily except select holidays
10 AM to 4 PM.
Entrance Fee for Gallery Admission

For more information click
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Also visit DeGrazia's  Mission in the Sun Chapel, the community chapel on the Gallery grounds that is dedicated to Father Kino. Free. No Entrance Fee for Chapel.Admission.

DeGrazia's Mission in the Sun Chapel
"Dedicated to Father Kino in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Indians"
Ted DeGrazia - December 12, 1953

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

Resources: Kino's Writings, Guides and Online Resources
Click Resources 

Topical Page Cross References in Kino Books
Click Cross References 

Online Kino Presentations, Music, Art and Movies

Click Video & Multipedia 

To Site Index, Search and Navigation & Printing Tips


To Main Pages