History of the San Xavier Mission
(left) Close-up of completed
Mission San Xavier del Bac is a Catholic church founded by a Jesuit priest, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a European spreading the word of God in a new land in 1692.
While traveling to what is now known as California, Kino found a Pima Indian village near a stream bed ("Bac" means "where a stream emerges") in the Sonoran Desert. He stopped and preached to the people who were receptive to his teachings. Father Kino did not stay in this location, but visited it often during his travels.
During this time the old church was vulnerable to Apache attacks but was left untouched. Charles III of Spain banned all Jesuits from Spanish lands because of distrust of the secular talents of the Jesuits, so from this time (late 1760's) on San Xavier would be led by Franciscans.
In 1895 a school was opened again, and a grant of $1,000 was given to repair the building. Classrooms were added on at the start of the century. In 1947 a new school was built next to the church for the Tohono O'odham children.
From Amazon: Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains: Unraveling the Legends and History of the Santa Catalina Mountains, includes the famous legend of the Iron Door Mine, a forgotten mission and a lost city somewhere in the Catalinas. The legends have lured prospectors and treasure hunters for hundreds of years. The discoveries of early Spanish placer mining sites, stone ruins and stories of the mountains, only fueled speculation about the riches still left behind. Read more about the lost legends of the Santa Catalinas.
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