San Xavier del Bac Mission
Mission San Xavier del Bac is situated in the Santa Cruz Valley nine miles south of Tucson, Arizona. Framed in the warm browns of the surrounding hills and the violet shadows of more distant mountains, it rises, brilliantly white from the desert floor of dusty green mesquite and sage. The imposing dome and lofty towers, the rounded parapets and graceful spires etched against the vivid blue complete a skyline with a graceful enchantment.
From the earliest times, the Tohono O'odham settlement in which the Mission is located was called Bac, "place where the water appears," because the Santa Cruz River, which ran underground for some distance, reappears on the surface nearby.
The celebrated Jesuit missionary and explorer, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, first visited Bac in 1692. Eight years later in 1700, Father Kino laid the foundations of the first church, some two miles north of the present site of the Mission. He named it San Xavier in honor of his chosen patron, St. Francis Xavier, the illustrious Jesuit "Apostle of the Indies."
Every time I see "But God" in my e-mail list, I zero in on that one. It will inevitably be food for the soul. These are gorgeous. I have seen pictures of San Xavier del Bac, but never as complete as these. Once again, Dallas, you hit it out of the park!
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© Dallas Kinney