Monday, June 28, 2010

San Xavier del Bac

Come with me to one of Arizona's sacred places.The gentle spirit of the place is evident even before you enter the misson.
Xaviar del Bac was built in the 1600's by Father Kino and the humble native people.
Built of adobe; (mud,sand, clay, water,sticks, straw, and/or manure)
and carved from wood in a barren desert those many years ago
Open the door.
Inside is a magnificent altar,old worn wooden pews,and breathtaking art.
There are close to 300 painted or sculpted angels, more than 100 images of saints and over a dozen representations of Mary.
Lady in Blue the Madonna Santa Maria
Saint Francis
Our lady of Guadalupe.
Walls are very thick,built to insulate the inside from the desert heat.
Mass is still sung in native Yaqui language.
My pilgrimage to San Xavier del Bac was completed on this past weekend.
Listening to native voices singing....
in the late afternoon.


  1. Oh Gemma I wish I had been with you. This is magnificent.
    I love visiting churches and places of worship, even though my own beliefs are unorthodox.
    Thank you for the virtual visit,

  2. Yes, thank you so much for this wonderful tour. It was beautiful. What a wonderful church. It's amazing the way our inner souls quiet down when we enter a church. Thanks again. Have a great week.

  3. What a beautiful escape! Thanks for sharing the experience and the photos. I feel like I've been there now. :)

  4. The architecture is beautiful! But OMG that altar area is just stunning!!

  5. Gemma..this is spectaular. Thank you for sharing

  6. oh I am so wanting to go there.. it is beautiful. we have nothing like that here..thankyou xoxo

  7. Unbelievably magnificent! Thank you for sharing these gorgeous photos, Gemma!

  8. Gemma breathtaking art in the architecture and inside!!A gem for any visitor.A Holy place indeed for worship and reflection.

  9. I feel like I've just gone on a tour with you, Gemma. I do hope the native peoples were not forced to participate in the building, but were already converts. It's amazing to consider that's made of mud. It looked like marble on first glance.

    The shot of the bell tower backed by cloud-laden sky is just beautiful!

  10. I cannot believe this! It is the most heavenly place I have ever seen! I looked through this post over and over...wish I knew how to bookmark. You took some fabulous pictures, Thank you Gemma!

  11. Oh, thank you, thank you! How beautiful, and to think that it was created from such humble elements as "mud,sand, clay, water, sticks, straw, and/or manure." Lovely.

  12. Thank you for sharing San Xavier. I haven't been there in over 30 years and I'd forgotten how beautiful it is. Beautiful photos.
    Rita A.

  13. Amazing architecture and beautifully spiritual inside. There is a mission that looks very similar in San Juan Puerto Rico, in Old San Juan. I took photos long ago but they are lost. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

  14. It is certainly an impressive and beautiful looking place! I have read a lot of history on Native American cultures and how they were separated from their families, carted off to missions or reservations, and forced to take on the white man's religion and way of life. like Meredith, I wonder too if it was a happy place way back when it was built...were the native peoples happy or sad? With you saying it is a gentle place, it makes me believe it was a happy place for Father Kino and the native people.

    Thanks for sharing such a magnificent place with us, Gemma.

  15. Gemma, Thanks for this. It reminds me so much of the book I read in June for my English online book club: Willa Cather's "Death Comes for the Archbishop". Altho it was set in New Mexico, not Arizona, it's all about missions (physical and spiritual).

  16. oh how I wish I could hear the voices singing. Thank you for posting this as there are so many places we know nothing about....and can visit vicariously!