Eusebio Francisco Kino was the most picturesque missionary pioneer of all North America - explorer, astronomer, cartographer, mission builder, ranchman, cattle king, and defender of the frontier.

His biography is a not merely the life story of a remarkable individual, it illuminates the culture of a large part of the Western Hemisphere in its pioneer stages.

Dr, Herbert E.  Bolton
Founding Historian of the Study Colonial Spain in the United States
"Rim of Christendom   -  A Biography of Eusebio Francisco Kino: Pacific Coast Pioneer"

The noblest Southwesterner of all.

Dr. Lawrence Clark Powell
Eminent Southwest Historian
"Southwest Classics"

Kino was a protoliberation theologist, as concerned with improving earthly status as with securing a heavenly reward for obedient subjects of God and crown. …. The Indians recognized that he was a highly evolved soul, an inside chief …

Alex Shoumatoff
"Legends of the American Desert:
Soujourns in the Greater Southwest"

Intelligent, practical, and indefatigable in mind and body. … His scientific background would prove invaluable in the New World, but he had something even more valuable that could not be taught: a natural and honest compassion for the Indian people. Kino genuinely liked the Indians, and even discounting the pious optimism of missionary reports, it seems clear that they liked him back.

 Paul Robert Walker
"The Southwest: Gold, God and Grandeur"

It was Kino's personal characteristics - his enthusiasm, his warmth of feeling for individuals such as Captains Coro, Coxi and others with whom he became associated, his tolerance of ways not in accord with European, his delight in big and ceremonial gatherings - … that lay at the bottom of his successes in the Pima country.

Dr. Edward H. Spicer
"Cycles of Conquest
The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960"
1962  Page 317

[Kino]  did not judge the cultural traits of others by his own as did, and do, so many. His methods of discussion and persuasion, and his desire to arrive at consensus, were like those of the moral leaders of the Pimans. This fact, combined with his organizational skills and ability to utilize the talents of others, placed him in high esteem among his Piman friends.

Nicholas J. Bleser
"Tumacácori : From Ranchería to National Monument"

An individual of great energy, toughness, and appeal, he created widespread demand among the natives for the material benefits of Christianity. As he explored and mapped their country, he doled out trinkets, tools, seed, and livestock, preached, and encouraged them to build with adobe. He did not press them to give up their old ways ….  They responded willingly when he asked them to plant and build. They offered their children for baptism. They joined campaigns against Apaches.

At the same time, the astute Jesuit politician and propagandist beat down the opposition … Rancher, farmer, and miner coveted Pima labor and Pima lands. Kino, by representing these natives as loyal, industrious, and eager to receive the faith, by baptizing goodly numbers of them, won official sanction for the Jesuits' Pima ministry. ... the missionary frontier defined by Kino endured for generations.

Dr. John L. Kessell
"Friars, Soldiers, and Reformers
Hispanic Arizona and the Sonora Mission Frontier, 1767–1856"

Accordingly, your Reverences will allow him to return to the missions. You will let him work there ...  I am convinced that Kino is a chosen instrument of Our Lord for His cause in those missions.

Father Tirso Gonzalez
Father General of the Jesuits
Letter to Jesuit Provincial of New Spain
July 28, 1696

Editor Note: The entire text of the Father General Gonzalez's  letter can be found at the bottom of this page. 

If as one scholar has observed “Sonora represented one of the most successful mission endeavors of the Jesuit order in the New World on a par with its organizations in Paraguay, established at the same time,” much of the credit certainly belongs to the "Padre on Horseback."

Manuel G. Gonzales
"Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States"

Portugal and Spain did not command sufficient resources in personnel to keep abreast of overseas demand. …. The share of missionaries working among the indigenous population was above average among central Europeans by comparison with Spanish. Of significance was Eusebio Kino in Mexico …

German-Speaking Lands
German-Speaking Jesuits in the Overseas Missions
Paul Oberholzer, S.J (entry author)
James Corkery, S.J. (English translator)
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits

Notes: Other Kino Entries in the Encyclopedia of the Jesuits: Kino, Eusebio, S.J.;  Baja California (Antigua California, California);  Mexico (Viceroyalty of New Spain); United States of America.

The Jesuits were hardly cultural relativists … however, ironically the same priests who lamented the Indians lack of civilization discovered significant parallels in thought and behavior with native people. This was true, for example, of the Jesuits' commitment to communal, nonpropertied living and ceremonial and ritualist labor, as defined by the Jesuit Constitutions.

 Dr. Daniel T. Reff
"The Jesuit Mission Frontier:
The Reductions of the Río de la Plata and the Missions of Northwestern Mexico 1588-1700"
In "Contested Ground: Comparative Frontiers on the Northern and Southern Edges of the Spanish Empire"

Kino .. blazed the earliest southwestern trails, proved Baja California a peninsula, and started a chain of missions that would enable Spain to occupy her last stronghold in the New World [Alta California]. The versatile priest also envisioned a road from Mexico to Monterey.

Felix Riesenberger, Jr.
The Golden Road 1962

Without Kino and Salvatierra there would probably never have been a California as we know it. Why? Because their insight and bravado created the Pious Fund [of the Californias], shaped the mission policies, and sustained the commitment to the "most abandoned peoples on earth." And all of those missions that Serra has been credited with were paid for by Jesuit money. The colonizing expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza? Paid for by Jesuit money. Costanso's scientific expedition? Paid for by Jesuit money …

Kino is a historical figure of staggering proportions; his role in the development of northern New Spain and the West is immensely important.

Dr. Charles W. Polzer, S.J.
"Kino: On People and Places"
In "The Jesuit Tradition in Education and Missions: A 450 Year Perspective"

His journeys of discovery also helped open land routes to Upper California, one through the most formidable desert in North America. His steps would eventually be followed by …. such empire builders as Juan Bautista de Anza, the man whose overland colonizing expedition to Alta California in 1776 led to the Spanish settlement of San Francisco.

Dr. Bernard L. Fontana
"Kino: Questing Spirit"

An Act  Public Law 101-344  101st Congress - August 6, 1990

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 1. Tumacacori National Historical Park.
(a) Establishment.
.. there is hereby established the Tumacacori National Historical Park.

Section 2.  Administration.
(d) Recognition of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino's Role.
In administering the park, the Secretary shall utilize such interpretative materials and other devices as may be necessary to give appropriate recognition to the role of the Jesuit Missionary Priest, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, in the development of the mission sites and the settlement of the region.

United State Code
Title 16 Chapter 1 Subchapter LIX-Q
Tumacacori National Historical Park
16 USC 410 ss

The Fiesta [de Tumacácori] grew out of the commemoration of the first Mass held at Tumacácori by Father Kino a few weeks later in January 1691 ..  Even though the commemorative Mass evolved into a full-blown Fiesta in 1972, the Mass has always been a key element of the Fiesta and has always been in memory of the first Mass Kino celebrated there.  The first commemorative Mass in 1965 marked 275 years since the time Kino celebrated the first Mass at Tumacácori.
"An Interview with Bernard L. Fontana"
January - June 2010 Number 19
Note: The Fiesta de Tumacácori is hosted by the Tumacácori National Historical Park and is held annually on the first weekend in December.  

The year was not a good one for California. The great Eusebio Francisco Kino died … This stalwart figure had tried to found permanent missions on the peninsula decades before … Despite the failure of his project … Kino had never lost interest in California. It was he who had kindled the spark in Salvatierra which produced the idea of a mission system. With Salvatierra, Kino had prodded authorities in Mexico and Rome until they gave consent … Had it not been for Kino the missions would never have been started.

Black Robes in Lower California
Dr. Peter Masten Dunne, S.J.

These two men [Salvatierra and Kino] - particularity the later who had chosen St. Francis Xavier as his model - were the true apostles of California.

John H. Gihon, Frank Soule and James Nisbet
Annals of San Francisco

[Kino] had been the driving force behind the Jesuits' return to California. During the twenty-six years after his own mission to the peninsula was suspended, he was probably the most vital benefactor of the new mission that took its place… He has been recognized for his vision, but his efforts toward and material contributions to the development of the peninsular mission have been under appreciated in California annals.

 Harry Crosby
Antigua California: Mission and Colony on the Peninsular Frontier, 1697-1768

Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino has been called the greatest missionary in Spanish North America. … This great missionary who was far more than a missionary, was one of those pioneers of civilization of whom perhaps two or three may appear in the course of a generation.

Dr. Rufus Kay Wyllys
The Arizona Historical Review
April 1932

Few if any missionary episodes are better illuminated by contemporary records than this one whose scenes were La Paz and San Bruno.  … The diaries, maps, linguistic notes and letters of Kino, Copart, Atondo, Guzmán and others connected with the [Atondo-Kino California] enterprise constitute a definite contribution to North American exploration, cartography, ethnology, and history, comparable, we might say, with the famous reports of Frémont, or of Lewis and Clark.

Dr, Herbert E.  Bolton
"Rim of Christendom   -  A Biography of Eusebio Francisco Kino: Pacific Coast Pioneer"

Among the few known methodological texts that provide insights into missionary practices characteristic of this [accommodation] movement is Book Eight of Kino's "Vida del F. X. Saeta." In it Kino stressed that for the missionary to excel in conversion, he must nurture the virtue of patience and tolerance. From the text, its is clear the Kino admonished the missionary that preached from a position of authority, but rather advised that the missionary should work to maintain closed personal contact with the Natives, often sitting among them on the dirt floor or on a rock.

Eric A. Schroeder
"Hegemony and Mission Practices in Colonial New Spain" in
"Evangelization and Cultural Conflict in Colonial Mexico"
Robert H. Jackson - editor

Certainly the cross of Christ has make a mark in the progress of the Gospel in this region since its beginning: three hundred years ago, the day when Father Eusebio Kino, was first to bring the Gospel to Arizona…. With exceptional personal abnegation, Father Kino worked indefatigably to found missions everywhere in this region, so that the Gospel of our Lord could take root among the people who lived here.

Pope John Paul II
Pastoral Visit to Arizona

Father Kino's zeal for souls, coupled with a lack of prudence and judgment, had caused him to burst forth in hyperboles and superlatives in favor of the Pimas and other nations; and like these exaggerating mirrors he had made a tiny insect look like an elephant, painting the grandeurs in Pima Land which did not exist there. 

Powerful Kino Detractor

He was worth, as military men say, more than a well governed presidio of soldiers.

Father Horaci Polici, S. J.
Jesuit Visitor of the Missions of Pimeria Alta

He died as he had lived, in the greatest humility and poverty, not even undressing during his last illness and having for his bed - as he had always had - two sheep skins for a mattress and two small blankets of the sort that the Indians use for cover, and for his pillow a packsaddle.

Father Luis Velarde, S.J.
"Relación of Pimería Alta"

To discover lands and covert souls, these are the virtues of Padre Kino. He prays often, and without vice, takes neither tobacco or snuff, or to the bed or the bottle.

Juan Mateo Manje
"Luz de Ttierra Incognita"
"Unknown Arizona and Sonora 1693-1701"
Translator Harry J. Karns

Icarian in rational discourses, until yours, superb Eusebio, you brought light to the celestial lights.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
"Sonnets" 1680

For Sor Juana's entire poem about Kino,
Click Sonnet

Examining Sor Juana's library allows us to understand better her sonnet "in praise of the astronomical science" of Father Eusebio Kino… a sonnet (205)  in which she places him, literally, above the comets, that is, in the incorruptible highest heavens. Sor Juana capped her praise by saying that the "heavenly lights received light' from Kino's learning .. [Seventeeth century New Spain] was … the century of missionaries like Father Kino, mystics like Catherine Suárez, and ascetics like the Archbishop of Mexico, Francisco Aguiar y Seijas …  

Octavio Paz
 "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, o, Las trampas de la fe"
"Sor Juana, Or, the Traps of Faith"
English translation by Margaret Sayers Peden

The hopes that your Reverence may make a journey to Mexico [City] have comforted me greatly. I imagine I see you there already, as on the former occasion, like a lightning- flash, quick and refulgent …

Don Joseph de Miranda Villa y San
Royal Audiencia of Guadalajara,
Letter to Kino dated March 31, 1705

In "Kino's Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta; A contemporary Account of the
Beginnings of California, Sonora, and Arizona" [Vol. 1] 1919
Dr. Herbert E. Bolton, Translator and Editor

[Book 8 of "Kino's Biography of Francisco J. Saeta, S.J."] furnishes .. the key to Kino's methods of winning over the natives, of his being able to travel among them even unescorted when he so chose, of securing their cooperation in evangelizing the area far beyond the limits its of his own mission, of securing their confidence, allegiance, loyalty, trust, and devotion to a degree unparalleled in the mission annals of Mexico. 

Dr. Ernest J. Burrus, S.J.
"Kino's Biography of Francisco J. Saeta, S.J."

It is no exaggeration to say that only Padre Kino did so much his twenty-three years in the Pimeria, that in the forty years after his death all the missionaries were unable to convert one-third of the villages that Kino had made his friends in order to bring them the Gospel.

Ultimately, he was and always will be an example for the workers of that vineyard of Our Lord, and the original that all of us must imitate.  He opened the door, paved the way, and went forward as a guide for all of us who aspire to the greater glory of God and the conversion of many souls.

Father Juan Antonio Baltasar, S.J.
Jesuit Provincial of Mexico
"Apostolicos Afanes de la Compañia de Jesus"

As a man of action, an executive, as master doer of things worth doing, Kino stands out preeminent in the pioneer life of America. We can scarcely praise too highly his saintliness of character and his zeal as a missionary; but we must nor overlook the fact that his greatness is immensely augmented when we come to study him as a forceful and resourceful man of affairs.

He has become widely recognized as the most heroic figure in the history of the Southwest.

Dr. Frank C. Lockwood
Acting President of University of Arizona  (1922)
"With Padre Kino on the Trail"

Today in Arizona and Sonora, Father Kino is honored, even revered, as the most important European pioneer in the Pimería Alta.
Dr. Raymond H. Thompson
"A Jesuit Missionary in Eighteenth-Century Sonora
 The Family Correspondence of Philipp Segesser"

And today despite many vicissitudes San Xavier [Mission del Bac] lives on, the only one of the old Southwest missions still in service of Indians, an enduring memorial to Kino's selfless love. 

"Desert Happy"
Douglas Rigby

Mission of San Xavier del Bac, the "white dove of the desert" …  is, without quibble, the most beautiful man-made object in America Deserta.

Reyner Banham
"Scenes in America Deserta"

Kino … is a cultural hero of the region. Ask a Sonoran farmer when a particular agricultural technique was introduced and the answer is "desde los tiempos de Padre Kino" (since the times of Father Kino). Kino did indeed play a major historical role in the Pimería Alta …

Dr. Thomas E. Sheridan
Book Review of "Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland"
Journal of Arizona History
Winter 2014

Father Kino was the most outstanding cartographer in all of the Spanish domains across the sea. … Kino's notion of cartography of northwestern New Spain was the official cartography and geography well into the 1800s. Modern accurate maps dated only from the 1850s. Many of Kino's maps are far more accurate than Humboldt's of the same area because Humboldt did not have Kino's best maps.

Dr. Ernest J. Burrus, S.J.
An Interview with Ernest J. Burrus, S.J.
The Hispanic American Historical Review 
Vol 65 No. 4
November 1985

So accurate is this map [Kino's 1701 Passo por Tierra a la California] that it did not become completely obsolete until 1912, when Lumholtz' map "Papagueria" was published.

Dr. Ronald L. Ives
Geophysicist and Explorer of the Pinacate Region

Hell must have boiled over at Pinacate.

Jeff Milton 1936
Quoted by
Dr. Ronald L. Ives
Occassional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences
August 28, 1964 No. 47

A map of the greatest importance in the history of Arizona and of California accompanies this memoir. This map is entitled entitled "Passage par terre à la Californie déconert par le Rév. Pére Eusébe Francois Kino, Jésuite, depuis 1698 jusqu'à 1701, où l'on voit encore les Nouvelles Missions des P.P. de la Compagnie de Jésus." 

Professor Jules Marcou
"Notes Upon the First Discovery of California and Origin of Its Name"
Annual Report of Lieutenant George M. Wheeler, Corp of Engineers
Executive Documents of the House of Representatives 3rd Session 45th Congress
Report of the Chief Engineer

Note: Kino's 1701 Map is set out opposite page 1649 in the above report in The Congressional Record.

[Kino] dared to believe that, armed only with love, he could mount a horse and discover new lands and peoples and at the same time serve his Lord by extending the boundaries of Christendom.

His vision - and his ability to command the affection and loyalty of the native peoples he encountered - made him the preeminent pathfinder and mission builder in the West.

Father Kino is rightly esteemed as Arizona's founding father. A peacemaker, he won the loyalty of the native people by deeds rather than words.

Honorable Stewart L. Udall
Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior
"The Forgotten Founders : Rethinking The History Of The Old West"

But the hardships which this worthy man suffered from the Indians were the least, or rather not to be compared with those he met with from some Spaniards, against whose violences he was a wall of brass, in favor of his converts. They obstructed his enterprises and prevented his being assisted by others, it being their interest, that the poor Pimas should be branded with the name of rebels and enemies, that they might commit depredations among them, and force the Indians to serve them as slaves."

Father Miguel (Burriel) Venegas
"Noticia de la California " II,89 (Madrid 1757)."
"Natural and Civil History of California" II, 89. (London 1759)  (English translation of above)

Arizona recognizes him as its founder; Sonora honors him as a secular hero; and Trent venerates him as a saint.

Dr. Gabriel Gomez Padilla
Kino Biographer

A saint who understands that commitment to God is in the here and now, who has a passion for social justice, and who understands his religion as a dispassionate surrender to the well-being and progress of others, above all the poor....

I seek an ordinary saint ... A Jesuit saint who has achieved the best of the Order's tradition: contemplation in action and action in contemplation

Dr. Pablo Latapi
Speech Honoring Padre Kino on the Dedication of the Centro de Estudios Educativos

I dared to ask the question that was gnawing inside me. "What happened with the Saint?"
"The Saint is there," he answered. "Waiting  ….. Saints live in their own time."

Gabriel García Márquez
"The Saint" from "Doce Cuentos Peregrinos"

We rejoice in sufferings, knowing that sufferding produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us. Romans 5:3-5

Martin Dugard
Front Matter
The Explorers

In this modern and materialistic age the zeal of the missionary of the cross is not uncommonly characterized as fanaticism. The idea of men's braving the hardships of the desert, the mountains, the wildernesses, of the fierce hostility of aboriginal superstition, merely for the propagation of a religious faith - to modern materialism this seems preposterous and absurd. But is it not a sublime manifestation of man's rise above materialism, above all sordid and mercenary considerations, that he is willing to face even death itself for the enlargement of his spiritual concepts?

George Wharton James
Arizona - The Wonderland

What of the Padres — were they not here? As I ride off across the plain to the east the  
thought is of the heroism, the self-abnegation, the undying faith of those followers of Loyola and Xavier who came into this waste so many years ago. How idle seem all the specious tales of Jesuitism and priestcraft.

The Padres were men of soul, unshrinking faith, and a perseverance almost unparalleled in the annals of history. The accomplishments of Columbus, of Cortez, of Coronado were great; but what of those who first ventured out upon these sands and erected missions almost in the heart of the desert, who single-handed coped with dangers from man and nature, and who lived and died without the slightest hope of reward here on earth?

Has not the sign of the cross cast more men in heroic mould than ever the glitter of the crown or the flash of the sword?  

John C. Van Dyke
The Desert 1901

"Kino" he said softly, "thou art named after a great man - and a great Father of the Church." He made it sound like a benediction.

"Thy namesake tamed the desert and sweetened the minds of thy people, didst thou know that? It is in the book."

John Steinbeck
"The Pearl"

Editor Notes: In "The Pearl" the village priest speaks to Kino, the main character of the book, about Padre Kino's enduring legacy to the peoples of Baja California.

Kino mapped the stars to the Indian soul.

Tara Linda
Singer / Songwriter
"Padre Kino's Ghost"

No todo es muerte en la extensión desierta,
Un canto de amor en la pradera brilla;
El Padre Kino con el alma abierta
Envuelve su esperanza y se arrodilla.

Lleva a los cielos la plegaria muda,
Besa la piedra donde pone el pie
Y entre oraciones de pasión desnuda
Cierra los ojos sin saber por qué.

La  jornada era larga y peligrosa,
Tribus guerreras de indomable furia
Estaban en acecho, miradas sospechosas
Resbalaban del sueño a la injuria.

Las misiones hicieron la conquista,
Poniendo en San Javier la vida entera,
Oremos porque el alma se revista,
De la paz que es canción en primavera.

Pedro Tobar Cruz
Excerpt from the poem "Tucson - En el Arizona del recuerdo"
El Tucsonense
December 1954

Eusebio Kino ….  treated Pimas with kindness and respect for them that made him popular with his flock (and drew criticism from stricter priests). Kino, perhaps single-handedly, produced an expansion in conversion among native people in the Pimería Alta.

 Dr. David Yetman
"The Opatas: In Search of a Sonoran People"

On their return trip along the Gila, Manje and the soldiers were all greeted with same salutation, "Padre Kino", the only names the Natives had for a non-Indian. This incident so impressed Manje that he emphasized it the Conclusion (Epílogo), saying that it happened in several places.

Dr. Ernest J. Burrus, S.J.
"Kino and Manje: Explorers of Sonora and Arizona:
Their Vision of the Future: A Study of their Expeditions and Plans"

Fashionable historians may debate the "great man theory" of history, but whoever believes that a country cannot be influenced by the dedication of a single man must reckon with Father Eusebio Francisco Kino … .

I feel shaped by experiencing the desert heart. To walk the lava paths that Kino walked three hundred years ago and to see exactly the same deserted vistas that he saw was an extraordinary experience …

Dr. William K. Hartmann
"Desert Heart: Chronicles of the Sonoran Desert"

Eusebio Francisco Kino was one of those occasional remarkable individuals who leave their indelible stamp on the history of a nation or an area.  … he became very much the prototype of the missionary frontiersman of New Spain. 

Dr. John Francis Bannon, S.J.
The Spanish Borderlands Frontier 1513 - 1821

For Kino was an undoubted genius, a man of such stature in many fields that his labors and influence brought culture and a better way of life to the several tribes of Indians living in this vast area, in the short space of a quarter of a century.  …from the beginning his great concern was the material welfare of his charges, in addition to their conversion.

William J. Schaldach
"Path to Enchantment - An Artist in the Sonoran Desert"

In the late seventeenth century the Jesuit, Eusebio Kino, laid the foundations for missions in Sonora, Arizona and California …

Dr. Hubert Herring
"A History of Latin America: From Beginnings to Present"

Three circumstances in the life of one man - a sickbed vow, a frustrated bid for service in the Orient, and the disappointment in Baja California - put Father Kino in the right place at the right time.

He came to the Pimería Alta in 1687, a man of forty-two years and worthy of the challenge. From the first he demonstrated the optimism, energy and resourcefulness that were to characterize his twenty-four year of labor among the Pimas.

Dr. John L. Kessell

The Spanish, and to a lesser extent the Portuguese, were unique among all colonizing and imperialistic peoples in having a formidable movement in favor of the oppressed natives. Unlike the British, and later the Germans and Dutch, the Iberian nations had an institutionalized conscience in the form of a church that had a clearly define place in society.

Dr. Luke Clossey
"The Missionary Enterprise: An Overview"
in "Christianity Comes To the Americas : 1492-1776"

A final and key variable in understanding Jesuit perspectives in the New World encounters stems from the lack of a precise definition of ministry in the Society of Jesus. Priestly ministry was not conceived in exclusively sacramental or liturgical terms. Ignatius had set no limits on the place or circumstances of Jesuit ministries, as long as they were devoted to "the greater glory of God." He envisioned an order of mobile apostles who could play a leadership role if they were free to move into new and critical areas. Jesuit ministry, at its best, proffered an ideal of service to those in need, wherever found and whoever they were.

Joseph A. Gagliano
Jesuit Encounters In The New World:
Jesuit Chroniclers, Geographers, Educators And Missionaries 1997

By 1600 the Jesuits had established themselves in the public mind in three continents as spiritual nobleman of distinction and wisdom. Often accused of arrogance, they were generally high-minded men of intelligence capable of sacrifice, endurance and patience. Their achievements in the first century after their foundation were astounding.

Hugh Thomas
"World Without End: Spain, Philip II and the First Global Empire"

Skirting the dry coastal plains, of the Sonoran Desert, the Jesuits followed river valleys northward, establishing missions in Lower Pima, Eudeve, and Opata communities. They never were able to exclude Spanish settlers from those valleys, but missions established by the Jesuits in the seventeenth century enabled some Indian communities to maintain control of their communal land bases into the nineteenth and even twentieth centuries.

Dr. Thomas E. Sheridan
"Landscapes of Fraud
Mission Tumacácori, The Baca Float and the Betrayal of the O'odham"

No other man in the history of the Spanish Southwest approaches Kino in humility and strength. To this day in Arizona, when we are more than ever needful of heoric public figures, Kino is the lasting prototyoe, a man of devotion, intelligence, and compassion, who stands on our thereshold as an inspirer.

Dr. Lawrence Clark Powell
"Arizona: A Bicentennial History"

The worldlier task of appraising Kino's symbolic legacy for the state [ of Arizona]  demands fresh attention. Perhaps no single state holds a more contested place in American political and cultural imagination than Arizona in this particular moment. And as a signifier of deep histories, Kino memorials can remind viewers of the long interactions of Indian, Spanish, mestizo, and European peoples in the region both before and after statehood. In this current moment of narco wars, coyote kidnappings, immigration bills, assassinations, "crime suppression sweeps," and dead bodies in the desert, this state could use a reminder of conciliatory, cross-cultural work.

Dr. Brandon Bayne
Recalling Kino: Remembering a Pimería Past,  Reimanging an Arizona Present
SMRC Revista
Winter 2010

One had to be impressed by anyone who rode thirty and forty miles a day in unpaid service to others. Caballero Kino rode so hard and long that sometimes his followers had to tie themselves in the saddle to keep from falling from exhaustion.

Dr. Richard C. Collins
"Riding Behind the Padre: Horseback Views from Both Sides of the Border"

Without a doubt, the Spanish Horse is the best horse in the world for equitation, not only because of his shape, which is very beautiful, but also because of his disposition, vigorous and docile, such that everything he is taught with intelligence and patient he understands and executes perfectly.

Baron d' Eisenberg
"L' Art de Monter à Cheval"

From the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, missionaries in unrecorded thousands crossed the Atlantic in order to instruct the natives of both Americas in the faith. Of all these apostolic workers, Eusebio Francisco Kino is outstanding for his amazing versatility: writer, historian, mathematician, geographer, map maker, explorer, navigator, peacemaker, strategist, farmer, rancher, architect, builder of churches, houses and even of a ship, linguist, preacher of the word of God, teacher, founder of missions and towns, many of which are today flourishing cities.

Dr. Ernest J. Burrus, S. J.
"Kino and Manje: Explorers of Sonora and Arizona:
Their Vision of the Future: A Study of their Expeditions and Plans"

He explained the cabalgatas [by Por Los Caminos de Kino] as a veneration of Father Kino by retracing his journeys, showing respect for his accomplishments, and continuing their devotion to his cause for sainthood. … These journeys were not just horseback adventures but deeply religious acts, uniting them in a personal way with their exemplary Jesuit in those exact places where he wrought so many extraordinary achievements. To them, Father Kino's legacy was not an abstraction or an academic curiosity but embedded in their everyday lives.

Dr. Richard C. Collins
"Riding Behind the Padre: Horseback Views from Both Sides of the Border"

He died in the home of Father Campos. Kino had gone there to dedicate an artistic chapel in honor of Saint Francis Xavier in the town of Santa Magdalena, attended to by Campos. The life-size statue represents the Saint in death, a fine piece of work, and enclosed in a gilded shrine. Father Kino felt unwell as he sang the Mass of dedication.

It would seem that the saintly Apostle, to whom he was always devoted, summoned Kino so that, by being buried in his chapel, he would remain close to the Apostle's lifeless image because he had imitated the living Saint through his apostolic work, in order that he might accompany Xavier, as we may believe, in heavenly bliss.

Luis Velarde, S.J.
"Relación of Pimería Alta"

Kino's accomplishments --  as explorer, cartographer, diplomat, and promoter, -- continue to justifiably amaze and excite generations of scholars and desert rats alike.

Dr. Thomas E. Sheridan and
Bill Broyles
"Last Water on the Devil's Highway
A Cultural and Natural History of the Tinajas Altas"

Although Padre Kino died more than two centuries ago, he never has been forgotten by the descendants of the Indians whom he served. To this day they pay homage. They journey on foot, by horseback, and in wagons from Arizona's Papago and Pima Indian Reservations, and from Sonora's far-flung communities to Magdalena each October to pay him homage. Volumes have been written in praise of the great missionary, historian, ranchman, explorer and mission builder, but no tribute is so eloquent as that annual trek of the Indians …

Bernice Cosulich

It shows us yet another way in which Eusebio Kino changed the lives of those who followed him, ever briefly, to his little chapel in Magdalena. … we can only guess at how many other lives he has touched through the centuries in all of this great land he called the Pimería - on the Far Side of The Sea. 

Ben Clevenger, M.D.
"The Far Side of the Sea: The Story of Kino and Manje in the Pimería - A Novel"

In Southern Arizona …. people go sixty miles south of the border to Magdalena de Kino. There, since the early 1800s, pilgrims have visited the trinity of the San Franciscos: Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis Xavier, and Friar Francisco Kino ….

Steve Fox
"Sacred Pedestrians: The Many Faces of Southwest Pilgrimages"
Journal of the Southwest
Spring 1994

To be on the road to Magdalena in early October is to take part in the richest kind of living history. Like religious pilgrims of old, these travelers leave their homes by the thousands to join with friend and stranger in a journey representing piety, hope, adventure, adoration and personal gain ..The Magdalena [pilgrimage] story is exciting proof that human events, which are the river of history, flow in an infinite stream.”

Dr. Bernard  L. (Bunny)  Fontana
"Pilgrimage to Magdalena"
American West
Sep /Oct 1981

Most Papagos [O'odham] interviewed agreed that Father Kino and St. Francis were the same individual. …. Those who think of Father Kino as being associated with the Saint because he was the first at to bring him to Mexico are fewer in number than those who think of him "as" the Saint. … The author meet a Papago man on the plaza from San Xavier Mission, Arizona. He said he believes Father Kino is St. Francis and that this is the general conception of other Papagos.
George H. Williamson
"Why the Pilgrims Come"
"The Fiesta of St. Francis Xavier, Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico"
The Kiva
October - November 1950

The Fiesta de San Francisco in Magdalena is one of those occasions when the traditional cultures of the region are at their most visible, when the region's history is at its most accessible. 

Dr. James S. (Big Jim) Griffith
"Southern Arizona Folk Arts"

Some Papago [O'odham] believe that San Francisco and Padre Kino … are one and the same. Though each Papago may have his own patron saint, San Francisco is still the crucial connection between the Papago People and the "Santu Himdag," the Sacred Way. 

Gary Paul Nabhan
"The Desert Smells Like Rain
A Naturalist in O'odham Country"

Of a later date where the explorations and adventures of the brave old Jesuit Missionary Padre Eusebius Francis Kino, to whom all honor is rendered by Vanega, the early historian of California. Father Kino inspired by religious motives, left his mission of Dolores in 1698, and journeyed north as far as the Gila River, battling with the perils of the wilderness and Christianizing the Indians. During the years 1699 and 1704 he made numerous journeys equally long, difficult, and dangerous, solving many interesting problems in regard to the newly-discovered countries, erecting missions, and collecting vast treasures of information about the wonderful people whom he encountered in his travels

The peaceful conquests of Father Kino and his followers over the barbarous races of Sonora and Arizona are among the most curious records of history; and to this day may be seen, in the ruined missions and vestiges of Christian faith among the Yaqui, Opoto, and Papago Indians, the noblest monuments of their works.

J. Ross Browne
"Tour through Arizona"
Harper's New Monthly Magazine
October. 1864 – March 1865

"Adventures in the Apache Country: A Tour Through Arizona and Sonora"

He built houses and chapels; formed mission and towns; conciliated hostile nations; and attracted Indians by his wonderful gentleness and affability, till they all confided in him, as though he were the father of each one individually.

Father Miguel Venegas, S.J.
"Empresas Apostólicas"

What never ceases to amaze me is the great amount of knowledge about many things, but above all concerning methods of architectural construction, that Father Kino brought with him to the Pimería Alta.

Dr. Jorge Olvera
Institutto Anthropologia e Historia (INAH)
"Finding Father Kino: The Discovery of the Remains of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino"

In these excerpts from Kino's memoirs, Woodward gives us the key to understanding the Padre's high regard for basic architectural elements and their impact on the natives: he [Kino] speaks like a designer …  Among the neighboring Indian tribes the word about such a "heavenly space" at Cocóspera spread to other areas; no wonder the Indians from far and wide (even Yumans) came with gifts to attend the dedication ceremonies!

Buford Pickens, FAIA
Editor's Notes
"The Missions of Northern Sonora: A 1935 Field Documentation"

Perhaps more than any other individual, Father Kino became central in Professor Bolton's dynamic crusade … Bolton and his student disciples proved that the Spanish Borderlands was both an important era and a vital part of American history whose great significance has been overlooked by the historians whose focus was narrowed to the rocky Atlantic coast.

Hon. Barry M. Goldwater
U.S. Senator from Arizona
Intrdouction to "Father Kino in Arizona" 1966 

To his favorite frontiersman, Eusebio Francisco Kino, he [Bolton] paid loving tribute, first in a sketch, "The Padre on Horseback", in 1932, and then in full-scale biography, "Rim of Christendom", in 1936.

John W. Caughey
"Turner, Bolton, and Web
Three Historians of the American Frontier"

Padre Kino had lingered on the brink of discovery through most of his life. He had sailed the Atlantic, studied the stars, crossed the Colorado, charted the approaches to the California coast, crisscrossed the head of the Gulf, crossed the Colorado, and defied the Gran Desert itself. While he was unraveling rumors from fact in the western haze, a mission frontier behind struggled to keep pace. He had led armies of carpenters, bricklayers, farmers and irrigation experts in building of a frontier that would succor distant California.

His life was over, but a dream was coming true. Padre Kino had come to a desert. He came among abandoned peoples. He rode the arid trails.  He bore the acid criticism of colonials. Why? Because he recognized that the paradox of Christianity is locked in the paradox of the desert. Life is more precious where life seems unable to survive. People are dearer where people seem almost out of place. Peace is more possible where man recognized the potentials of hostility.

Dr. Charles W. Polzer, S,J.
"Kino: A Legacy"

His manuscripts now brought to light constitute by far the best contemporary historical record of the regions where he labored.

Hubert Howe Bancroft

To the Pimas [O'odham], Kino was the Great White Father. They loved him, he loved them, and they were ready to die for each other. To him they flocked as if drawn by a magnet. From northeast, north, northwest, and west they beat trails to the door of the missionary wizard. Chiefs and warriors went to attend councils; to take part in church fiestas; to be baptized; to assist in planting,  harvesting, and roundups.

Dr. Herbert E. Bolton
The Padre on Horseback
A Sketch of Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J., Apostle to the Pimas

The Pimas [O'odham]  are very generous, sharing everything and owning everything in common, even their clothing. When one is having a meal and does not have enough even for himself and another comes along, the visitor nevertheless gets half of what is there. … They have an uplifting spirit ….

Father Philipp Segesser, S.J.
Letter to his family in Lucerne, Switzerland
July 31, 1737
"A Jesuit Missionary in Eighteenth Century Sonora
The Family  Correspondence of Phillip Segesser"
Edited by Dr. Raymond H. Thompson

Poor as Papago (O'odham) country was its economics were those of abundance. Papagos did not hoard property .. they were constantly giving. Papagos did not hoard property; .. they were constantly giving, as though from an inexhaustible supply. The answer is that supply, meagre though it was from the modern point of view, was sufficient, for their simple needs and more…  the lavish giver not only achieved honor but had continuing income pouring in. For all gifts were retuned, in equal quantity and more.

Dr. Ruth Underhill

Pimans practiced what anthropologist Ruth Underhill referred to as an economy of abundance. Food resources were shared reciprocally not only by members of immediate families, but by members of extended families, of villages, and of inter-related villages as well. Pimas were obliged to give as well as to receive. Sharing with members of one's own family was obligatory and unquestioned. Generosity meant an investment in one's fellow human beings. Stinginess, an invest in material wealth, meant isolation and possible death. The desert demanded cooperation of its human dwellers.

Dr. Bernard Fontana 1976
"Voices from the Southwest:
A Gathering in Honor of Lawrence Clark Powell"

They [Akimel O 'odham] regularly experienced the Hunger-Hurting Moon, the month when stored harvests had been consumed and new crops and wild foods were not yet mature. Not until Spanish explorers and missionaries, who were impressed by their farming skills , introduced wheat that ripened during the months of food scarcity, could the Akimel O'odham depend on a steady food supply through the entire year.

Dr. Anna Bellisari
"The Obesity Epidemic in North America: Connecting Biology and Culture"

Wheat became so important that some O'odham even began calling the first month of the year in early summer Wheat Harvest Moon instead of Saguaro Harvest Moon.

Dr. Thomas E. Sheridan
"A History of the Southwest: The Land and Its People"

Father Kino was widely popular among the Pimas of his missions, so much so that Indians flooded to his missions, not away from them.

Dr. David Yetman
"Conflict in Colonial Sonora"

Language was perhaps the O'odham's highest form of art. Speeches, ritual oratory, and song lyrics were powerful and poetic. Moreover the grammar of the language is as subtle and complex as any in the world; its vocabulary is rich in words defining the external and internal world of the O'odham.

Dr. Bernard L. Fontana
"The O'odham" in "The Pimería Alta: Missions & More"

The Upper Pima [O'odham] seem to have had an unusual effect on their missionaries, causing them to identify with the Pimas as even against their [Jesuit] Order. In this connection we may well mention Father Kino, who dared calumny and strong criticism from even his father superior in defending the Upper Pimas.

 Dr. Edward H. Spicer
"Cycles of Conquest
The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960"
1962  Page 330

The deep divisions and pronounced philosophical differences between the Jesuits and many Spaniards helped create a more pluralistic society in Sinaloa-Sonora than in other regions of northern New Spain, at least for a time. It was a fragile and volatile pluralism -- one based on the cultural and political subjugation of the Native Americans -- but pluralism nonetheless. And it rested upon the recognition that the power of the state had limitations in a society composed also of strong religious institutions and semiautonomous Indian communities.

Dr. Thomas E. Sheridan
Introduction: The Pacific Coast Corridor: Sinaloa-Sonora
"The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain
The Californias and Sinaloa-Sonora, 1700-1765" Vol. 2, Part One 1986

It was not a border between civilization and wilderness, or civilization and savagery, because those terms were nothing more than value judgments of the conquerors. Instead it was contested ground,  a place where no single group-tribe, nation-state, or empire-held uncontested sway.

Dr. Thomas E. Sheridan
Arizona: A History

This was a region of broad, treeless basins with uncertain water and forage; the natives were semi-nomadic, loosely organized , and generally hostile … in many way the north remained a terra incognita, defying conquest and exploitations.

Dr. Thomas H. Naylor
Dr. Charles W. Polzer, S.J.
Pedro de Rivera and the Military Regulations of New Spain, 1724-1729

I prayed to Padre Kino and his Patron Saint, Saint Francis Xavier, and I also prayed to the one who had left. And somehow everything became easy, and I could tell you the miracles that happened while I was working on that statue, but time does not permit, but believe me I never worked alone.

Susanne Silvercruys
Dedication Speech
Arizona's Kino Statue in U.S. Capitol Hall of Heroes
February 14, 1966

Saint Xavier del Bac, a name which a Father Missionarius [Kino] had assigned who died ca. 20 years ago at a place three hours away from here, a man 80 years old at whose grave I recently offered mass … . was called, as the Indians tell me, Father Kino… a man whose indescribable effort and labor Father Augustin [Campos] and everyone else in this country could not, as far as they knew him, praise enough. He was the very first who entered into this very remote region; baptized many heathens, and showed other [missionaries] the way where to go and search for lost souls.

Father Philipp Segesser, S.J.
Letter to his brother in Lucerne, Switzerland
December 1731
"The Letters Of Swiss Jesuit Missionary Phillip Segesser (1689 - 1762)"
Edited by Dr. Albrecht Classen

So how does an author tackle a subject like Kino? With trepidation, I assure you... And I soon realized that I couldn't, without help, tell  this man's amazing story with the depth and scope it deserved. Fortunately, I found just the people who could help me. … So I have asked Juan Mateo Manje to tell Kino's story as he lived it at his side and Jorge Olvera as he searches modern Sonora for the lost grave of the famous padre.

Ben Clevenger, M.D.
"The Far Side of the Sea: The Story of Kino and Manje in the Pimería - A Novel"

Go to any Mexican restaurant in Tucson and look over the menu. Breakfast and sweets aside, you’d be hard put to find many dishes that don’t include beef or wheat. It’s the same in Sonoran home cooking too, and it’s been that way ever since March of 1687, when Kino came into this region with his wheat seeds and beef cattle.

Dr. James S. (Big Jim) Griffith
Our Storied Land
Arizona Daily Star
May 7, 2013

In Mexico, meanwhile, Kino is recognized in several ways, including as the name of what is believed to be the country’s best-selling wine. …

Stylistically, they [Padre Kino Vino Tino wine and Padre Kino Vino Blanco wine] aren’t far removed from the simple everyday jug wines that emerged from California’s San Joaquin Valley early in the evolution of the state’s modern wine trade. They are soft, sweet, viscous and quaffable, and while dismissed by some as best for cooking, they are embraced by others for a youthfulness and fruitiness suggestive of beaujolais nouveau.

Mike Dunne
"Dunne on Wine: Father Eusebio Kino and California Wine"
The Sacramento Bee
May 27, 2014

Note: Kino was a teetotaler. However, Kino's father did grow grapes when Kino lived from age nine to sixteen in the town of Mezzacorona in the present day Italian Autonomous Province of Trentino. Mezzacorona is the headquarters of Mezzacorona S.C.A., an 110 year old agricultural cooperative that benefits its members who are grape growers. The Mezzacorona cooperative produces many of Italy's most famous brands of wine and markets them  throughout the world.

We have made a fetish of our early Western gunslingers. But they were second-string humans compared to the padres when it came to courage, fortitude,stamina, toughness and just plain guts. And perhaps leading them all was Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. The word that best describes him is — indomitable.

Weldon F. Heald
"Eusebio Kino, Southwest Pioneeer"
Desert Vol. 23
December 1960

He was known for his compassion and sense of justice, …..opposing, for example, the use of Indian slave labor in the Crown’s silver mines.

He is still revered, and his final resting place in Magdalena, Son., where his bones are visible behind glass in the courtyard of the mission he founded, is a site for pilgrimage.

Tom Beal
Arizona Daily Star
May 21, 2014

When [Kermit] Hunter talks of his new play ["The Bell and the Plow"]  and of Father Kino his eyes light up with the fire of a man living a crusade and his words tumble out with a rush.

John Parris
"Kermit Hunter, Author of 'Unto These Hills' Completes 'Bell and The Plow' For Production in Arizona"
The Times-News - Henderson, North Carolina
October 7, 1953

Note: Kermit Hunter wrote the play "The Bell and The Plow" about Kino and his life as a missionary that was performed as part of Tucson's Tohono Festival in April 1954.

But the Kino reels [by West Way Films] are more than simple travelogue.They take the time to examine communities through their people and practices. Churches provide backdrops to devotional communities, communities enliven centuries old buildings. The unlikely communion of baroque art and moving image make sense in this context. Both are means of conveying the dynamism, variation and consonant contrast that mark life in the borderlands.

"Celluloid Pueblo
  Western Ways Films and the Invention of the Postwar Southwest"
Dr. Jennifer L. Jenkins
Kino Reels I & II are perserved in a digital format at The Arizona History Museum - Tucson.

Of all the pioneers who trekked the southwestern trails from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth, Kino is probably the most deserving of the title of pathfinder.

Harlan Hague
"The Road to California"

That Kino's remains were discovered in 1966 has to be regarded as miraculous.
The same might be said for the continuation of so much that he set in motion in northern Sonora/southern Arizona more than three centuries ago. 

Dr. Bernard L. ("Bunny")  Fontana
Afterword to "Finding Father Kino
The Discovery of the Remains of Father Euesbio Francisco Kino 1956-1966"

When I looked at Father Kino's bones, I was impressed with the massiveness of the body ― or at least of the chest cage. He was approximately five feet, ten inches tall …  he had been a teacher and did not become a missionary until he was approximately forty-two years old. He then started a rugged outdoor life, raising cattle, riding, and making long trips across the desert. He suffered from osteoarthritis brought about somewhat by his rugged life. He mentioned many times in his diaries that disease and illness forced him to rest a day or more longer than planned.

James M. Murphy
President - Arizona Pioneer's Society
"The Historical Roundup"
Journal of Arizona History
Summer 1966

Padre Kino had a dream to share love and kindness ….  Because he was a kind man the Indians loved him. They welcomed him with arches and crosses. He brought them a better way of life. His memory is revered to this day. Beautiful spirits are forever. 

Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia
"Permanent Collection Guide"
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

[Artist Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia],  a native Arizonan, who much like Kino himself, knows and loves the desert of the Southwest and Indians who lived there." 

Harry Atwood 
"De Grazia" 1976
KUAT TV Productions
University of Arizona

Atwood created the documentary film about Kino's life entitled "Paths in the Wilderness" for KUAT TV Productions.

The exhibition "De Grazia: A Cultural Prospector In The Desert Of Arizona" was conceived with the purpose of redeeming particular components of De Grazia's life … as he himself expresses in referring to the close identification he made with Father Kino, the Jesuit who founded missions in the Southwest of the United States and with Cabeza de Vaca, first non-Indian to walk across what we today know as Florida, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Both were a fountain of inspiration for De Grazia, as he profoundly illustrated and interpreted their lives in the Southwest of the United States.

Lic. Blanca Gardeño Pulido
Museo Estudio Diego Rivera
"DeGrazia: Gambusino Cultural en el Desierto de Arizona Exhibición"

Few others were inspired more profoundly by San Xavier del Bac Mission, the Tohono O'odham people and Padre Kino than Arizona born Italian Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia. The writings of Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia about Padre Kino also resonate with me because I had explored the vast sweep of the Altar Valley beneath the Tohono O'odham sacred peak of Baboquivari as Padre Kino and DeGrazia both had … During a stormy desert night north of the Mexican border, DeGrazia described his mystical experience of Padre Kino. 

John Annerino
Saints Santos Shrines

Few individuals exerted a greater influence on the course of Arizona and southwestern history than Jesuit missionary/cartographer Eusebio Francisco Kino (ca. 1645 - 1711) … this towering figure in the history of the Spanish borderlands. 

Dr. Anne I. Woosley
The Journal of Arizona History

Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino is probably the most remarkable individual to have worked the Spanish frontier in the New World. … it is for his spirit and his indefatigable zeal as explorer, missionary, and borderland ambassador that he is best remembered.

Douglas Kent Hall
Frontier Spirit: Early Churches of the Southwest

More than 300 years ago, a tireless Jesuit priest by the name of Eusebio Francisco Kino made countless forays on horseback throughout much of what is now the northern Mexican state of Sonora and Arizona. Father Kino brought with him ideas and material culture – chiefly the Christian faith, the Spanish language, cattle, and crops – that would change the region deeply and forever.

Southwest Mission Research Center
Website: http://southwestmissions.org/kino-missions-tour/

The words of that eloquent writer, John Fiske, in reference to Las Casas, Protector of the Indians, are not inapplicable to Father Kino. He says: In contemplating such a life all words of eulogy seem weak and frivolous. The historian can only bow in reverent awe before . . . [such] a figure. When now and then in the course of centuries God's providence brings such a life into this world, the memory of it must be cherished by mankind as one of its most precious and sacred possessions. For the thoughts, the words, the deeds of such a man, there is no death. The sphere of their influence goes on widening forever. They bud, they blossom, they bear fruit, from age to age.

Dr, Herbert E.  Bolton
"Kino's Historical Memoir of the Pimería Alta
A Contemporary Account of Beginnings of California Sonora and Arizona
by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. S.J., Pioneer Missionary, Explorer,
Cartographer, and Ranchman 1683 - 1711"

I am most grateful to you, Mr. President, for having suggested that we meet in Magdalena de Kino for the meetings that we had during the day. …. the great role that Father Kino played in the history of this part of the world, made it an ideal setting for the discussions that we had on very important matters. …. The heritage of Father Kino is an inspiration for all of us to continue the work that he started three centuries ago.

Gerald R. Ford
President of the United States of America
Speech - Tucson, Arizona 
October 21, 1974

Near San Xavier lies a mountain sacred to the Indians from the earliest times. In our time scientists from the many parts of the country sought out the place located near a great university where they could best follow the flight of man into the stars. Now Kitt Peak bristles with the most advanced instruments which peer out of our world. At the beginning when the Papagos were approached for permission to allow this intrusion on their sanctuary they called the astronomers "the men with the long eyes."

We always must have the men with the long eyes to lead us into the outside darkness. The courageous and compassionate Kino was one such. He opened the treasure house of our Lower Sonoran country to the light of faith and the fruits of civilization. Its spirit transcends human boundaries and throws us the challenge to till the fertile fields of his beginning as brothers.

Hon. Samuel P. Goddard, Jr.
Governor of the State of Arizona
"Arizona's Kino Statue in U.S. Capitol Hall of Heroes"
February 14, 1966

Editor Note: The dedication of The National Observatory located on Kitt Peak was on March 15, 1960, one year to the day before the 250th Anniversary of Father Kino's death on March 15, 1711. Kino was one of the first astronomers from Europe living in the New World.     

The fathers over here [California], who realize your Reverence as their benefactor and apostolic model in your indefatigable labors, salute your Reverence."

Father Juan María Salvatierra
Jesuit Provincial of New Spain

When the General of the [Jesuit] Society Thirso Gonzalez compared Kino to St. Francis Xavier … it was because this man was an effective and spectacular Christian.

He was a tough man of the mountains; he was a man of God to match the the mountains of his birth. He was a man of the desert who found the presence of his Creator in the stillness of strange life forms, in the garble of languages, in the power of indescribable storms, in the awesome danger of unexperienced trails across unknown horizons.

He was a dedicated Jesuit astride a horse, posed between God and creation. He moved with certitude in God's good graces; he reached out unselfishly for the abandoned peoples of the New World. History may have denied him the dream of the Orient, but history gave him the greatness of Mexico and the Californias. With out him, and Salvatierra from Milan, there would be no California of today. 

Dr. Charles W. Polzer, S.J.
"The Adventure of Eusebio Franisco Kino, S.J."

Your predecessor withdrew Father Kino from the missions; the missionary himself has written to me from Mexico City. He has been led to believe that he was summoned to report on the missions and to discuss with the Viceroy the means of reactivating the California enterprise. But the letters of your predecessor state that the real motive was to get him out of the missions and keep him in the Province.

If this is so, I cannot possibly approve such a decision, inasmuch as it deprives those missions of a most devoted worker who has toiled there with untiring zeal and boundless enthusiasm. Such has been his success that were he now employed at other tasks, he should be freed from them, and sent to the missions; so far am I from approving your withdrawing him from them!

Accordingly, Your Reverence will let him return without fail to the missions of the Pima Indians so that he can continue to work among them, unless the renewed entrance into California has received approval; in which case, he is to go there, taking with him the fellow missionaries he need for so wonderful an enterprise.

Now, I find two main charges against Father Kino; in fact, they are the only charges ever brought against him. The first is that, carried away by his enthusiasm and zeal, he is superficial in his work, hurrying as he does from one task to another. It is said that he baptizes the natives without  sufficient instruction in their obligations as Christians. If we consider how much Saint Francis Xavier attempted in such a short span of time, we must admit that saints use quite a different yardstick from the one applied with such caution by ordinary mortals; for them the might of God has no  limits. I am convinced that if superiors do point out some specific fault to Father Kino, he will amend it and follow their instructions.

The second charge brought against him is that he is excessively severe on his fellow workers.  Now, from the evidence which reaches us in Rome, this charge is utterly unfounded. First, because  no one has ever complained about him; secondly, because there is scarcely anyone in all the foreign  missions who speaks with greater deference and respect of other missionaries; nor does anyone ever  show greater kindness than Kino. Such evidence, then, utterly destroys any charge of harshness  towards his fellow workers.

Accordingly, Your Reverences will allow him to return to the missions. You will let him work there, inasmuch as 'the just man is not to be hemmed in by any law.' I am convinced that Kino is a chosen instrument of Our Lord for His cause in those missions.

Father Tirso Gonzalez
Father General of the Jesuit order
Letter to Jesuit Provincial of New Spain
July 28, 1696

Editor Note: Father General Gonzales was the worldwide head of the Jesuit Order. After Kino brought peace to the southwestern Pimeria Alta after the Tubatama Uprising of 1696, Kino was called to Mexico City by his New World superiors in an effort to end his career as a missionary. Based on Gonzales' letter of support, Kino was permitted to continue his work in the Pimeria Alta. As part of Kino's petition to remain in the missions, he wrote "The Biography of Father Saeta" which is the basis of modern missiology or the theory and practice of mission work. The second complaint addressed by the Father General that Kino was excessively severe on his fellow workers may have arisen from Kino's Father Saeta biography.  One can speculate as to the dire condition of the Pima people that would have resulted without Padre Kino's  presence if he would not have been allowed to return and work with them for the last 16 years of his life.  

To Lateral Pages Before and After This Page and Above

To Main Pages

To Site Index, Search and Navigation & Printing Tips