Eusebio Francisco Kino


Father Kino was a Jesuit priest who founded a total of 27 missions in present-day Arizona and northern Mexico. Kino arrived in the Tucson area in 1692 and founded the Mission San Xavier del Bac. A great explorer and important cartographer he produced some of the first maps of the northern frontier of New Spain and Baja California.

Movies, books articles and documentaries… Father Kino's story of discovery is a major part of Tucson's history

If there is any one person who could be said to have written the early history of Tucson and Northwest Mexico it's Father Kino. Tucson's early history is tied closely to the development of Northern Sonora, Mexico and the small town of Magdalena de Kino 80km south of the border. Read More about Father Kino

The Temple of Santa María Magdalena in Sonora Mexico

he Temple of Santa María Magdalena in Sonora Mexico

The First European

Kino Map

Father Kino arrived in Sonora in 1687 to work with the Pima, and he quickly established the first Catholic church in that province. He traveled extensively through Northern Mexico, California and Arizona. His many expeditions on horseback covered over 50,000 square miles (130,000 km) and deduced that now Baja California was a peninsula, not an island as previously thought. A fervent believer in the idea that Indians needed better ways of living, Kino was important in the economic growth of Sonora at the time, teaching the Indians the basics of farming and bringing them farm animals and seeds.
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A Humanitarian In An Era Of Conquest

Father Kino was a man of peace who worked tirelessly to promote better conditions for Indians in Northern Sonora and Southern Arizona. He fought hard for the Sonoran Indians, opposing the hard labor in silver mines that the Spaniards had imposed on them. This also caused great controversy among his co-missionares, many of whom acted according to the laws imposed by Spain on their new territory.


A Tale of Three Statues

The statue (below) of Father Kino in Tucson is one of three produced by Mexican sculptor Julián Martínez

The 300th anniversary of Father Kino's arrival in the Pimería Alta came along in 1987 and Arizona was not going to overlook the coming of the man who put it on the map. The Arizona Historical Society initiated a project called "Three Statues for Three Centuries." The concept was to erect three equestrian statues of Padre Kino; in Tucson, where he had founded Mission San Xavier del Bac, in Magdalena, Mexico, where he had died; and in Segno, the Italian town of his birth. Julián Martínez, the sculptor laureate of Mexico was commissioned to design and cast the three equestrian bronze statues of the "Padre on Horseback."

In Washington

Bronze by Suzanne Silvercruys.
This statue of Father Kino is in the Statuary Home of the Capitol in Washington D.C. It was commissioned because Kino is considered one of the forgers of a union that combines both Anglo and Latin America.

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