Who was this amazing Father Kino? Whose statue stands in the US capital rounda who laid thy foundations of the famed San Xacier Del Back Mission Church nine mile south of Tucson - the explorer who discovered that basin California was not an island - and who gave up a life of ease in Italy to minister to the primitive Indians of southern Arizona?
Born Eusebio-chino in 1645, he prmoised God at age 18 that he would be a missionary if he survived a near fathal illness. He longed to serve in East Asia, but his Jesvit Superiors sent him insted to what is now Arizona at the time a barley explored desert virtually untouched by Europeans.
Becauase Chino meant "Chinaman" in Spanish, he changed his name to "Kino" shortly after he left Mexico.
He had a few brohter moks started to build a chain of missions in the Northern Sonora and Southern Arizona teaching the pimas and other indian the arts of farming and ranching, and introducing cattle and horses to the area. So appreciative were the natives that they soon idiolized Father Kino and many hundreds became christians.
Casa Grand structure near today's Collidge, and venturing north to Gila River and Modern Tempe. To of Arizona's missions he established, Tumacaord and San Xavier still exist.
The beautiful San Xavier church foundly known as "The white dove of the desert" was completed long after his deat at age 66 in 1711 but it stands today as a memorial to the dedicated missionary who brought civilization to Arizona.