Rev. Ernest J. Burrus, S.J.
Historical Institute of the Jesuit Fathers

"As he made his way northward, he carried in his saddlebag two precious objects: a royal decree exempting his Indian charges from forced labor or impressment of any kind, for Kino will be the pastor not of slaves but of free men; the second object he takes with him is the finest work of art that he can secure, a picture of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores, by the renowned Mexican artist Juan Correa. Not for an instant does Kino consider the Indians as inferiors; the one equality lacking in their regard is that of opportunity. It is to this equality of opportunity that he will dedicate his life."


"Kino's Vision of the Future"
By Rev. Ernest J. Burrus, S.J.
Historical Institute of the Jesuit Fathers, Rome 

Mr. JAMES M. MURPHY: The trail of Father Kino is not only in the Southwest and in Mexico, but can be traced to the archives in Munich, and Rome, Mexico City, Seville, because Father Kino wrote in German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. It is my great pleasure to introduce a gentleman who has followed this trail, both the physical trail in Arizona and Mexico, and the literary trail throughout most of Europe. He was in Texas, now lives in Rome. He is head of the Historical Institute of the Jesuit Fathers, the Reverend Ernest J. Burrus.
As he made his way northward, he carried in his saddlebag two precious objects: a royal decree exempting his Indian charges from forced labor or impressment of any kind, for Kino will be the pastor not of slaves but of free men; the second object he takes with him is the finest work of art that he can secure, a picture of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores, by the renowned Mexican artist Juan Correa. Not for an instant does Kino consider the Indians as inferiors; the one equality lacking in their regard is that of opportunity. It is to this equality of opportunity that he will dedicate his life.

"Kino's Vision of the Future"

Rev. ERNEST J. BURRUS: Several years ago while traveling through Kino's mission field in Sonora, Mexico, I stopped to spend the night in a small town founded by the great missionary and builder. During this trip lasting several days, I often wondered to myself: Has the memory of Kino lived on among his people? Do they have any idea of the extent to which they and their fore fathers are indebted to him? That evening I had a chance to find out. The little mission building was locked, and so I began my search for the family who kept the key to it. In a few moments a veritable flock of children gathered about me and, on learning that I needed the key, were off to get it for me. On their return I put my question to them: Who built this church? (¿Quién construyó esta iglesia?) Amazed that there could possibly be any­ one who didn't know, several answered in chorus: Why, Father Kino, of course. (Pues, el Padre Kino.)

The next day being Sunday, I said Mass in the new church near the old mission. Inasmuch as all available space in the building proper was taken up by the congregation, the children-from the smallest tots to teenagers-crowded into the sanctuary about the altar and even on the very altar steps, attending the services with an attention, respect, and devotion which I shall never forget. Here I had the real answer to my question: Does Kino still live on in the minds and hearts of his people-above all in their Christian conduct-the answer was a decided and most eloquent "yes."

This was the very region which Kino had saved for Christianity and western civilization when government and religious authorities had ordered his withdrawal far to the south in 1695, when hostile tribes had made a disastrous incursion into this part of Sonora. Kino pleaded with officials in Mexico City, in Madrid, and in Rome, not to abandon this region. And hence because of his efforts, it became an important part of his vision of the future.

Kino, who explored and settled so vast an area, never once gave his name to any portion of it-not to the smallest inlet or bay, not to the most insignificant hillock-for above all, he wished to live on in the hearts and memory of his people.

In choosing a topic appropriate for me to participate in the dedication of this exceptionally artistic statue by one of our most eminent sculptors, Mrs. Suzanne Silvercruys, to whose eloquent words you have just listened, I have tried to find one which would help us understand the ideals that inspired this illustrious pioneer chosen by the citizens of Arizona for this place of highest honor, and officially admitted to it by our recent great President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, whose mortal remains were honored at this very spot by a heart-torn Nation and by a world united in sorrow. I should like to share with each one of you a mental image of this great man, Eusebio Francisco Kino; a mental image worthy, I hope, to accompany the material image of the statue.

True, it would not be inappropriate to recall other aspects of Kino's intense and beneficent activity which extended the rim of Christendom several hundred miles northwestward. He came to the New World from Europe in 1681, at the age of 36. Almost immediately he was appointed to take a leading part in the expedition that was to inspire the first permanent settlement of Lower California, springboard to the advance of civilization along the west coast of the present United States.

Before death could still his generous heart 30 years later, he proved himself an outstanding leader of men, friend and protector of the Indians, champion of their freedom and their rights, explorer, historian, astronomer, recorder and even creator of geography, mapmaker, pioneer farmer, ranchman and cattle king, tireless rider, builder of missions and towns, friend of all men, and priest of God. That he was heroically brave in the face of the greatest danger, Indian and Spaniard alike attested and pro­ claimed; "mightier and more effective than a garrison of soldiers," wrote royal officials who pleaded that he remain in trouble-threatened Sonora rather than participate in Salvatierra's expedition to Baja California; endowed with a seemingly limitless energy which amazes the toughest cowboy today, Kino was gentle and kind; sympathetic and understanding, generous and self-sacrificing. During three times the span of Francis Xavier's missionary life, but animated with the same spirit and zeal, Kino won over to a better way of life the inhabitants of many tens of thousands of square miles.

He was born in 1645 in a diminutive village called Segno, near the famed and historic city of Trent, in the Tyrolese Alps. If his ancestral stock and his native language were Italian, his intellectual formation and broad culture were Austrian and German.

At the age of 18, while studying in the Jesuit College at Hall near Innsbruck, Austria, he fell desperately ill. He then made the vow that would set the course of his entire life. He promised that if he should recover, he would enter the Jesuit Order and volunteer for the foreign missions, to spend his life there in behalf of the people. He added "Francis" to his name in gratitude for the recovery he attributed to the Apostle of the Orient.

Eusebio Francesco, as he was known by his dear 'Ones in native Segno, or Eusebius Franz, as he was called in the land of his adoption, entered the upper German Province of the Society of Jesus at Landsberg, near Augsburg, Bavaria, exactly 300 years ago. Despite his more than 20 years of age and his exceptionally brilliant formation as a college graduate with highest honors, more than 15 years of intense application would be demanded of him before he could devote himself to apostolic work.

Finally, after ordination to the priesthood and completion of his studies, he was accepted for the distant foreign missions and set out for what was truly a "New World." Would it be in the west or in the east that Kino would devote his life as a missionary? His heart was set on the east for which he had prepared himself during the long years of college and university studies. But his fellow Tyrolese, Anton Kerschpamer, also preferred the Orient, and Kino was not one to be selfish even in heroism. To decide, they agreed to cast lots. His companion drew the Philippines, gateway to the Orient, and Kino drew Mexico; and thus the course of their lives was fixed by a bit of pious gambling.

After many delays and at least one tragic mishap, Kino set sail from Cadiz, Spain, on January 21, 1681; he had to come technically scarcely better than a stowaway; inasmuch as the quota of foreigners was filled for the year, his name was changed from Eusebio Kino to Eusebio Chavez, his birthplace was altered from Segno, Italy, to Cordoba in Spain, and Kino was on his way to the New World, which he reached at Veracruz, Mexico, on May I, over go days later.

Within a: few days he is reporting from Mexico City, metropolis at the time of the Western Hemisphere. The capital was busy at the moment with the preparation of Adm. Atondo y Antillon's expedition to California, and somberly reflective as a result of the report of the massacre of 21 Franciscan missionaries and numerous colonists in the recent Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico.

The Lower California expedition under Atondo with Kino and a fellow missionary on board crossed over from the Mexican main­ land in the early spring of 1683. Despite many initial difficulties, Kino won over everywhere the confidence of the natives. The future seemed bright with the promise of a rich harvest. The advantage of an outpost for the Spanish American colonies appeared all the more evident after Admiral Atondo with Kino on board succeeded in warning the Manila Galleon, and thus saving from booty-thirsty pirates a treasure valued at several million pesos.

On Kino's return to Mexico City in 1686, 30,000 pesos were assigned to the California enterprise. The future looked brighter than ever, only to be plunged into total darkness by a counterorder diverting every centavo to Spanish coffers depleted by the ever­ recurring war with France.

Was so much hope to end in failure? Possibly, except that Kino never learned the meaning of the word, and never lost time in brooding over or complaining about apparent defeat. He will work among the Guaymas and Seri Indians, within view of Lower California. As he made his way northward, he carried in his saddlebag two precious objects: a royal decree exempting his Indian charges from forced labor or impressment of any kind, for Kino will be the pastor not of slaves but of free men; the second object he takes with him is the finest work of art that he can secure, a picture of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores, by the renowned Mexican artist Juan Correa. Not for an instant does Kino consider the Indians as inferiors; the one equality lacking in their regard is that of opportunity. It is to this equality of opportunity that he will dedicate his life.

But Kino is not content with working among the Indians of some outpost along the extensive rim of Christendom. The pioneer spirit in him carries him far into the territory of the Pimas, among tribes to whom none has ever preached the doctrine of Christ. He will become their peacemaker, their protector from the marauding Apaches, and their teacher. With spirit un­ daunted he will work his way back from their territory to the Californias.

This was in early spring of 1687. Within 4 years he has not only built provisional churches in his mission center of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores and in the neighboring settlements, where for the first time a church bell was ever heard, but he has also carried on four exploratory expeditions to other tribes, one of them, that of 169 I, into the present State of Arizona to the vicinity of Tucson, an exploit to be repeated the very next year, and subsequently he explored more extensively in the same State, founding settlements and establishing missions.

Kino's name is deservedly linked with that of other great frontiersmen and missionaries: Petris de Cruzat, Manje, Velarde, Piccolo, Gilg, Campos, Leal, and above all, Salvatierra, founder of the permanent chain of missions in Lower California, and Juan de Ugarte, beggar extraordinary who would not let so great an enterprise die.

Death came to the Apostle of the Pimas on March 15,1711, at the pueblo of Santa Magdalena, where he had gone for the dedication of a new chapel.

Let us now turn to the vision of the future which sustained Kino in the midst of mounting disappointments, ever-new apparent set­ backs, and very real difficulties. Seldom does one meet a more ambitious person than Kino; it is not, however, a self-centered, egotistic ambition, but rather the rare and heroic ambition to share his ideas and his ideals with others, to be of assistance to others, even at the supreme cost of his life. This altruistic element of his vision never changes and never waivers-true, Kino is too optimistic, too resourceful, and too reliant to fail in the realization of his vision, but he will not even falter nor flinch in the face of the most tremendous odds and difficulties-his vision remains ever steadfast whether it be the one he cherished for 15 long years of his higher formation in college and university, when he "applied himself with such diligence and concentrated effort to the mastery of mathematics, astronomy, mapmaking, and the natural sciences, with the hopeful dream of one day using them in the Chinese imperial court. His vision did not embrace only one country, however vast it might be. When he volunteered to help reopen Japan to Christianity and the Western influence, his vision anticipated by more than a century and a half the effective action taken by Commodore Matthew Perry.

His bold plan not meeting with cooperation or even official approval, Kino's vision of the future does not diminish but be­ comes more inclusive. He will work in behalf of the needy in the Philippines or in the Mariana Islands, and from either as a base he proposes an expedition southwestward t~ rediscover the forgotten islands and a continent which must wait nearly a century before Capt. James Cook can at long last bring them within the sphere of European influence.

Not obtaining authorization for so bold a project, and losing out, as we have seen, in his pious gamble with a fellow missionary to reach the coveted missions of the Orient, Kino might well seem to be the very last person to entertain a bright vision of the future. If his vision seemed to many overbold and impractical, it was because he was centuries ahead of his time and, as we shall see, is still ahead of us today.

When he goes as missionary and royal cosmographer on the pioneer expedition to Lower California, he participates with all the enthusiasm and utter dedication as though this was the one area which he had most desired and for which he had prepared himself through all the long and exacting years. When once on shore that barren and inhospitable peninsula, and after repeated exploratory expeditions revealed only more deserts and parched lands, even the bravest and most hardened soldiers and sailors begged to leave such a forbidding region. Not so Kino. In all his minute reports and confidential messages there is not one com­ plaint about hardships, not the slightest hint that he must have often suffered hunger and thirst to the point of exhaustion and despair. No, his bright vision of the future enables him to see beyond the present cheerless reality to a most promising land to the north, with fertile valleys watered by swiftly flowing streams and inhabited by numerous Indians.

Later, when he makes Dolores in Sonora his headquarters and mission center, and explores the vast regions to the north, east and to the far northwest, he is strengthened in his conviction of a more productive California beyond the barren peninsula. Kino personally never set foot in any part of the present State of California, yet so extensive and so detailed was the information he secured from friendly Indians who came to see him that he composed an entire treatise on this promised land, which had to wait far into the next century for missionaries and settlers, because no one at that time was prepared to share his vision of its future.

Inasmuch as Kino was not only a strenuous doer of deeds but also a scrupulous recorder of them, his vision of the future is given a detailed, accurate and even graphic expression in his numerous writings and specially in his many maps and charts. From these sources and to a less extent from those of his contemporaries, we know that Kino succeeded in converting a part of his vision of the future into reality before death could claim him; the more than 250 years which have elapsed since his demise have seen a further realization; but even by adding together both contributions, we see how much still remains to be done.

By 171 I, the year of Kino's death, five mission centers had been established in Lower California and their future assured through the generous assistance extended to them by Kino: Loreto, San Javier, San Juan, Santa Rosalina, and San Jose, each center with its school for the native children and each with two or more de­ pendent missions.

In Sonora from Nuestra Senora de los Delores in the south through Santiago de Cocospera to San Lazaro and Santa Marla Bugota in the north, or through Santa Marla Magdalena and Caborca to the Gulf of Mexico westward, and San Marcelo de Sonoita in the northwest, Kino founded for this extensive region almost countless missions, each center of which had its school for the native children. Kino, who as a young man with the equivalent of a Ph. D. had turned down a full professorship in one of Europe's leading universities, was happy to teach a few dozen Indian children their ABC's in the little mission school of Dolores.

In the region corresponding to the present State of Arizona, Kino continued the chain of missions along the Santa Cruz or Santa Maria River through San Javier del Bac, San Cosme de Tucson and Santa Catalina; he visited numerous other sites and repeatedly proposed settlements and missions into central Arizona; he began a mission at San Salvador del Baicatcan on the San Pedro River, and again strove to establish more settlements with their missions to the north. Already in 1700 he had fully explored the area of the juncture of the Colorado and Gila Rivers, naming the town he hoped to found, San Dionisio, close to the present site of Yuma. Parenthetically, we may observe at this point, that had Kino's insistent proposal been put into effect, the terrible Yuma massacre in 178 I of settlers, soldiers, and missionaries bound for Upper California, would never have occurred; just as, elsewhere the Apaches would not have been the frightful scourge of the frontiers for more than two centuries.

At numerous other points, Kino would have established settlements, missions, and schools, had he received-I shall not say, encouragement-but even the slightest cooperation from religious and civil authorities.

In his plans of 1702, after he had definitively established the certainty of the peninsularity of Lower California, he proposed to consolidate the settlements already founded in Sonora and Arizona, and to found new ones throughout the vast region, and extend them far into the present State of California, anticipating by more than a half century the activity of Portola and Junípero Serra. He pleaded with civil authorities that settlers come from central Mexico to dwell in the new centers to be established; he pleaded with religious authorities that more missionaries be sent to man the centers already in existence and to extend their beneficent influence to more distant tribes. The plan of 1702 was enlarged upon and perfected in those of 1703, 1704, and that of 1710, just a few months before his death.

This last program of Kino we might well term his global plan, since it extended to the uttermost bounds of the earth. So familiar to us today is the idea of the desirability of the union and unity of all nations and of all peoples that we might all too easily fail to appreciate how novel and bold Kino's program was. In prophetic vision he beholds Upper California as the gateway to the Orient, and Pimeria Alta-that is northern Sonora and Arizona as the gateway to Europe, inasmuch as the roads through it are to link New Spain with New France, where transatlantic ships are to come to the Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River, and then sail a far shorter route to Europe than that via Veracruz. Hence Kino rechristened the vast region of Pimeria Alto Nueva Navarra-New Navarre-for just as Navarre links Spain with France, so New Navarre was to link New Spain with New France. From California ships were to sail not only to the extreme north of the continent but were also to come to it from all the lands and islands whose shores are washed by the Pacific. Such is the global program, such is the bold and optimistic vision which Kino leaves us today with seemingly so many means at our disposal as a rich heritage and a mighty challenge to put into effect and into an ever more perfect realization.

In conclusion, then, we can feel justified in dedicating this statue not merely to the memory of one man, however great he may be; we dedicate it to all Americans who would share Kino's high ideals, lofty aspirations, and his bold vision of the future to bring together all peoples in true understanding and in an abiding communion of spirit; we dedicate this statue to the citizens, present and future, of Arizona whose pioneer founder he was; we dedicate it to our neighbors of Mexico, especially to those of Sonora who have preserved his memory in such deep affection (especialmente a los sonorenses quienes can tanto cariño han con­ servado la memoria del Padre Kino) ; we dedicate it to Kino's native land and to the people and region from which he came (dedichiamo questa statua alla patria del Padre Kino, a tutti quanti condividono lo stresso nome e che appartengono alIa stressa regione Trentina) ; we dedicate it to the peoples of the lands of his adoption, whether in Austria, Bavaria, or Spain, where Kino spent so many of his intensely active years; finally, we dedicate this statue of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino to all peoples and to all nations of good will and of high ideals.

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