Last night we made a trip across town to see if the sun would peek out and provide a beautiful back drop for this Tucson treasure. The sunset didn’t work out, but a visit to San Xavier Mission is always special. It was quiet. The food vendors were gone for the day. The parking lots were deserted. Due to past vandalism, the church and chapel were locked up for the night. Over the years surveillance cameras have been added around the grounds. It’s sad that anyone would want to deface or destroy the White Dove of the Desert.
You can see the differences in the colors of the building. This has become a multi-generational restoration project. The inside of the church is breathtaking. When we first moved to Tucson, the frescoes were covered with decades of dirt and grime. You can read about the restoration and see the details of the church in this beautiful book.
Bernard Fontana is the leading expert on San Xavier. He has devoted decades to it’s preservation. Fontana teamed up with photographer Edward McCain to create a comprehensive view of the mission as never seen before. With 200 stunning full-color photographs and incisive text illuminating the religious, historical, and motivational context of these images, A Gift of Angels is a must-have for tourists, scholars, and other visitors to San Xavier. Be warned, it weighs close to ten pounds. An absolute treasure. To add this book to your collection, please click on the picture above and you will be directed to Amazon. The good news is, it will qualify for free shipping!
The Southwest is filled with Mission Churches. Each are beautiful in their own way. There is not quite another like San Xavier. A must stop for any Tucson visitor.