U.S. Presentation

Hon. Samuel P. Goddard, Jr.
Governor of Arizona

"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."

Presentation of Statue


Hon. Samuel P. Goddard, Jr.
Governor of Arizona

Mr. JAMES M. MURPHY: Father Kino lived and worked in a part of this continent which was then known as Pimeria Aha. It roughly covers the southern part of Arizona and the northern part of the State of Sonora in Mexico. We have a great deal in common with each other as far as these two States are concerned. When we speak of Father Kino, we are speaking of a man of many facets. His life was closely associated with three venerable nations and with two comparatively new ones. He was born in Italy, the first step taken in molding the life of Father Kino. From there, after his education in Austria, he went to Spain where he began his operations and his work. Then he came to an area which now consists of two countries-not heard of at that time. These are the Republic of Mexico and our own United States. So, his life, taken step by step, has affected many nations. Now we come to modern Arizona, and with modern Arizona we have a new Governor, a young Governor, a modern Governor, who claims, and rightly so, that he represents the new deluge of people moving into our beautiful country. So, it is my pleasure at this time to introduce to you, and who will make the presentation of this statue to the United States, our Governor, the Honorable Samuel Goddard, Governor of Arizona.

Hon. SAMUEL P. GODDARD, Jr.: In the relation of our earth's formation, the history of man occupies only the briefest passage. Compared to the unthinkable journeys of ancient light across our black universe, our lives are less than the scriptural "twinkling of an eye." Yet the divine spark sets man's questing spirit to poking holes in the starry sky. This spirit is man's lively balance on the scales of endless time; it strikes off the shackles of primitive fear; it prods the protesting clay away from the sheltering earth.

In Arizona we rejoice in the mightiest works of nature; the silent vastness of our desert, the mighty sculpture of peaks and depths speak freedom to the city bound. From the depths of time the ancients sounded the compelling chord "Lift up your eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our help."

Yet the same attraction in our beautiful country of the Southwest has still a savage aspect. Each year finds some tender citybred adventurer lost beyond the comforting arms of asphalt - too often he is simply swallowed down the spiny throat of the wild places.

Think back to the time before your father's father, when four feet and two feet were the frail vessel of man's travels under the fiery sky. Two hundred and eighty years ago a man toiled up the lonesome slope of the Giganta Mountains in empty Baja California. In this man was the melting and mixing of European civilization, the culture of his Italian birth, the intellectual currents of German education; the out thrust of New Spain's colonizing vigor. Last November I flew over this same Giganta range empty and echoing still in fearsome isolation. Few men even today venture into its fastness.

Yet here was Kino, a solitary mortal led and protected by the immortal spark of the spirit; the invisible armor of God. Padre Eusebio bore in his person the seeds of change. His maps opened out the distant wilderness for the following legions of New Spain; his crusading spirit planted graceful missions whose bells rang with holy sound the fruits of civilization. They called together the solitary savage people; they measured the growing seasons and regulated the new order of cattle growers and farmers; they gentled the wilderness.

Across the burning leagues, Padre Kino sowed the imperishable seed-the greatest gift of the world from which he was sprung, the gift of love. He moved in an aura of faith untouched by jealousy at home or savagery among his charges. Even the furious Indian revolts against adventuring brutality passed his village. His gentle power outlasted steel and outstayed the thunder of the guns.

Today there stands near the city of Tucson a mission of his founding. San Xavier del Bac, built near where Kino first scattered seed and brought his cattle to the Sobaiporis. Older in service than any House of God in our Nation, it has served as the descending stairs of its original flock for two centuries and more. The Indians call it the White Dove of the Desert and its towers float over the fields first opened by the far-wandering Padre. The mission looks as though it is ready for flight over the towering black mesa like the dove of the biblical promise.

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.

From Italy whence he came, by Spain where he found his mission, to our good neighbor Mexico-we all share a goodly heritage from this great churchman. I know Governor Luis Encinas of Mexico shares with me the dream of enriching Padre Kino's pasture with all the fruits of our common history, civilization and of the spirit which knows no limits to the brotherhood of man.

It brings us together-a gifted daughter of Belgium, the sculptress Mrs. Suzanne Silvercruys, distinguished historians, and friends of Italy, Spain, Mexico, and my fellow Arizonians-all to honor a heroic man, an inspired builder, and a kindly father.

May this inspired work of art fire the imagination and the spirit of our own generation and those who follow. May they have the zest for teaching, the courage of abiding faith, and the questing spirit, of this Kino we honor and thus share with the world.

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