Saturday, April 8, 2017

San Xavier, an old church everyone seems to love

San Xavier, the place we gotta go, was established by none other than Father Kino.  Named after the founder of the Jesuits—Father Kino’s order—the mission was one of the first European settlements in the West.  The current mission church there is the oldest European architecture and structure in Arizona.  While originally founded in 1692, the original church was burned in an Apache raid in 1770, with the current structure being built in 1784.  The White Dove of the Desert, as the church is nicknamed, is held in high esteem by both locals and the Tohono O’odham population.  The first person I spoke to in Arizona suggested that the first place we go should be San Xavier, and most people after had a similar sentiment.  However, while very old and beautiful, there are far better things to see in Arizona in my opinion. 

What the Mission does have is a link to the first Christian missionaries in the area.  In the 1820s, the Mexican government kicked all Spanish Priests out.  It was then abandoned until 1859, after the US acquired the area in the 1857 Arizona purchase.  Today, after faulty repairs damaged it in the 1980s, the church is maintained using traditional mortar made out of Prickly Pear Cacti. 

Used as a source

1 comment:

  1. I fully expect you to lead a follow-up expedition to San Xavier.