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Monday, November 5, 2012

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Every time we stay in Amado we have to pass the San Xavier mission. And every time we say "We need to go there." We finally did.; And it was well worth it. In fact I'd like to visit it again and probably again. It is just amazing what people did over 200 years ago. The art work inside is incredible.
San Xavier del Bac was founded in 1692 by the Jesuit missionary Eusebio Frnacisco Kino, founder of the Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert chain. He visited and preached in this area. The construction of the church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. It's called "The White Dove of the Desert"
It is situated in the center of a centuries old Indian settlement of the Tohono O’odham and is located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River. A sign telling how the church was built.
Among the many legends surrounding the building is a popular myth suggesting that early taxation laws exempted buildings under construction, so the builders chose to leave one dome unfinished. Another legend is that the second tower is being left unfinished until the "Excellent Builder" will come to direct its completion.
A closer look at the front of it. This is called Churrigueresque and we see it on a lot of the churches in Mexico.
Of course it was Sunday so the church was having Mass. Outside the church were several vendors. They were all selling food – a lot of fry bread.
She is patting out a piece of bread.
The inside is amazing. Looking up at the ceiling just inside the doors. All hand painted.
The painted walls and some of the old pews. Kind of a 3-D look.
Another part of the ceiling.Artists trained in the European style, they were brought in from Queretero, created the interior art. They used European manufactured pigments in the work. The paint on the walls and altar piece are original.
Looking at the upper part of the altar. A full sized statue of Mary. St Peter is to the left, St Paul to the right.
On the altarpiece, transparent colored lacquers over silver and gold leaf produce the mother of pearl effect behind the pillars.
A carved wood figure of San Franciso Xavier is a focal point for pilgrims to the mission. They pin small metal symbols, milagros, on his cover. The symbols represent the miracles for which they pray. The head is so smooth from all the people rubbing it.

 Another part of the church -more than 50 saints stand in the niches of the church. And hundreds of angels fill the interior of the mission. Notice the cross between the two paintings.
 The details in the paint on the walls was amazing. Everywhere you looked there was something different.
If you are ever in the area it is worth the visit. Back outside we decided to get some of the fry bread. Patting out the bread
Taking the fried bread out of the oil.
Got it plain - no sugar - still pretty darn good.
My regular post is just below this one. This was an extra.

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