Mission San Xavier del Bac


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West Bell Tower framing Cross of Main DomeMission Entrance
Courtyard Entry and Main Dome, east side of Church

Front Facade, statue of St. Agnes on left
Front Facade with two lions of Castille, and cat and mouse
St. Agnes of Rome, left side of Front Facade

Mission Entrance
Mission Front and East Side of Church

Main Dome as seen from rear of Church
Mission viewed from hill with Marian Shrine, east of Church
Main Dome as seen from rear of Church through arch

Statue of Suffering Savior in Retablo, west transept of Church
Retablo Mayor behind titlear, statues of St. Francis Xavier and the Immaculate Conception

San Xavier del Bac, named for Saint Francis Xavier (a Franciscan), is the northern-most mission in a chain of churches founded by Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit, that marked the furthest outpost of the Spanish empire. Construction of the present church began about 1783, 72 years after Father kino's death, and was completed in 1797 under the leadership of the Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscans. In 1827, the Franciscans and others born in Spain were expelled from the newly independent Mexico. In 1837, Father Antonio Gonzales, a Mexican born Franciscan, left his residency at San Xavier del Bac. It would be 76 years before the men of the Order of Friars Minor would return to live beside the graceful church they had built in the desert.

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