Tuesday, February 17, 2015

San Xavier del Bac

It is another Mission Day. There is a mission in Tucson that is considered a Tucson showcase. A National Historic Landmark, Mission San Xavier del Bac. It was founded by the same Jesuit priest, Father Kino, that founded Tumacacori mission that I saw a few days ago, but Lordy, what a difference. There have been many many bucks spent on restoring this particular mission and it shows. It is beautiful. Again I lucked out and got there just as a tour was starting. You get so much more out of a place when you hear from the experts who know their subject. The mission is done in a High Baroque style which as the guide put it, a triumphant, extravagant, almost theatrical (and at times) melodramatic style. Basically, it is gilded gaudiness. Let there be no surface left unadorned. I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

The mission builders ran out of money before they could get the dome on the right side tower completed

The Altar
When the Jesuits were arrested the Franciscans took over the mission.  St. Francis is their patron saint.  There was a statue of St.Francis lying there and according to legend, if you made a wish and then lifted the head of this supine sculpture up, your wish would be granted.  I saw a lot of people coming in and lifting St. Francis' head up.  There was one couple, who stood in front of St. Francis, kissed and smiled at each other and then the guy started lifting St. Francis' head up, over and over.  Almost like he was doing reps or something. I wonder what that couple was wishing for.

St Francis

1 comment:

  1. Hey we were there! I didn't know about lifting the head, though. Bummer. HT