San Xavier Mission

(Tucson AZ)
San Xavier del Bac Mission was founded by Father Kino, a Jesuit, in 1692 on the Spanish frontier and to Christianize the natives. It continues to serve the Tohono O’odham nation with regular mass and services.

Large mission church and wall

San Xavier del Bac Mission

The current buildings were constructed 1783-1797 in a Spanish Colonial style. Each year a pilgrimage of thousands come on foot to worship. There is a school, tribal offices for the natives, and a market place.

Brick path and gardens

Walkway garden and distant grotto

Desert plants in garden and sanctuary

Exterior Chapel and Gardens

The interior of the nave was very elaborate with decorative carvings, murals, statuary, etc. A courtyard is attached, with a museum at the edge. And, a walkway goes around to a gift shop.

Fountain, trees, surrounding rooms

Interior Courtyard at Mission

Decorative inside of main church

Interior of nave with murals

Well tended gardens surround the main church and outside chapel. A sacred grotto is on nearby hill. In front of the mission was a large field where natives were setup with food and craft booths.

Camp: Overnight at Casino del Sol
Scene: Mission, chapel, gardens

6 Responses to San Xavier Mission

  1. Bradford Harris March 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Stunning photos! It looks like an amazing place in excellent condition. My sister plans to retire to Tucson and vacations there. I’ll have to ask her if she’s visited the mission. Thanks for sharing the photos! — VT

    • Pleinguy March 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      An interesting place; and, I’m amazed it has continued to see the church and natives for so long.

  2. dick Secor March 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    While living in AZ for 7 years, we went to the Mission many times – a very beautiful location.

    • Pleinguy March 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      A friend advised that I should go see it; and, I’m glad I did.

  3. Dorothy March 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    It truly is an amazing place. “The White Dove of The Desert” as some call it. Do they still have the statue on inside the church on one side of the pews, that only those who are free of sin can lift? That sticks in my mind. It was unique to see how some of the native traditions were mixed with the Catholic ones.

    • Pleinguy March 18, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Yes, the figure is still there; and some tried their luck. The blending of native beliefs was to encourage their participation I suppose.

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