Eusebio Francisco Kino

Eusebio Francisco Kino
Jesuit Missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino

Drawing by Francis O'Brian, 1962

Padre Kino stood 5'6" tall and was solidly built. He had a broad nose, deep-set eyes and a pronounced brow. He was dark skinned with wavy black hair. He entered the Jesuit college at Trent and went on to the Jesuit college at Hall near Innesbruck, Austria. He joined the Company of Jesus on November 20, 1665 after an illness which nearly claimed his life. He also attended the Universities of Landsberg, Inlolstadt, Innesbruck, Munich and Oehingen. He came to the New World in 1681 and was appointed missionary and royal cosmographer for the California Expedition on October 28, 1682. He arrived in Baja California on April 4, 1683. He was on the second expedition to California on October 6, 1683 at which time he built a mission and established a fort at San Bruno near Loreto. On August 15, 1684 he took his final vows as a Jesuit. He was appointed missionary to the Seri and Guaymas Indians on November 20, 1685. He arrived at Cucurpe in the Pimeria Alta on March 13, 1687 and built his first and home mission just north of there at Nuestra Senora de los Dolores del Cosari. Over the next twenty-four years he established 24 missions and visitas and set up the foundation for modern agriculture and livestock raising. He promoted apprenticeships of artisans and similar trades. He travelled and explored extensively: Tumacácori -1691; Altar River - 1692; Gila River to Casa Grande - 1695; Baja California - 1697; Santa María and San Pedro Rivers - 1698; Gulf of California from the north, Colorado River - 1700; Repeat trip and crosses the Colorado on a raft - 1701; Repeat trip and proof that California is not an island - 1702; Guaymas - 1704; Tiburon Island - 1706; Pinacate and Santa Clara - 1706. He died shortly after midnight on March 15, 1711.

Learn more about Padre Kino

from the Kino Heritage Society.

from Mission 2000 and following the blue ID numbers.

from the facsimile and translation of his burial entry


Kino Chronology
By Dr. Felipe de Jesus Valeñuela
(Translated by Rosarito Velasco Joffroy)

10 Aug. 1645 Born in Segno, Val di Non di Trento, christened with the name of Eusebius, at the Chapel of Torra, in northern Italy.

20 Nov. 1665 Joins the company of Jesus and for the next 13 years, he makes his studies at the University of Landsberg, Freiburg, Ingolstadt and Grammer in Hall.

2 May 1678 Leaves Genoa for Spain with 18 other missionaries and sojourns during three years between Seville and Cádiz.

27 Jan. 1681 Starts his voyage to New Spain that lasts three months.

3 May 1681 Arrives at the Port of Vera Cruz in New Spain.

28 Oct. 1682 He is appointed Missionary and Royal cosmographer to the California Expedition under the command of Admiral Don Isidro Atondo y Antillón. Father Matías Goñi, a missionary, is appointed to join Kino’s expedition.

4 Apr. 1683 Arrives at Bahía de la Paz (Baja California) and names it “La Santisma Trinidad.” However, on July 15, 1683, the expedition abandons La Paz.

6 Oct. 1683 Second expedition to California, arriving in San Bruno (near Loreto). Here, he builds a mission and establishes a Fort. He plants the first vineyard in California. A catechism is written in the “Güimi” language. Father Copart accompanies him on this expedition.

15 Aug. 1684 Father Copart takes Kino’s final vows as a Jesuit.

8 Apr. 1685 San Bruno’s mission is abandoned.

20 Nov. 1685 He is appointed missionary to the Seri and the Guaymas Indian tribes.

13 Mar. 1687 Arrives in Cucurpe and the Pimería Alta, establishing his first mission “Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Cósari” there. It’s the beginning of his life-time titanic work that lasts 24 years, building 24 missions and “visitas.” The Indians’ living conditions in those days were considerably improved. He sets up the basis for agriculture and cattle-growing. He promotes apprenticeships of artisans and similar trades.

19 Jan. 1689 He and Father González--on the latter’s visit--travel together throughout al the missions that had been built to that date: Dolores, Magdalena, San Ignacio, Imuris and Remedios. The first missionaries arrive. They are: Luis Maria Pinelli, to San Ignacio, Magdalena and El Tupo; Antonio Arias, to Tubutama and San Antonio de Oquitoa; Father Pedro Sandoval, to San Lorenzo del Saric and San Ambrosio de Tucubavia; and Father Juan de Castillejo, to Santiago de Cocóspera and San Lorenzo María Sumaca.

24 Dec. 1690 Father Salvatierra and Father Kino visit the missions and both envision the possibility of obtaining support for the missions in California.

Jan. 1691 They visit the Sobaípuris of Tumacácori, thus arriving for the first time in what is the present state of Arizona.

Aug. 1692 He begins explorations up north and reaches what would later become San Xavier del Bac.

1692 Some more missionaries arrive: Father Augustín de Campos to San Ignacio, Magdalena and El Tupo; Father Januski to Tubutama; and Father Barli to Cocóspera.

11 Dec. 1692 Explores the Altar River, together with Fathers Campos and Leal, all accompanied by Capitán Carrasco. They arrive at “Cerro El Nazareno” over-looking California. Upon his return, he establishes “Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Conceptión” in Caborca.

23 Apr. 1693 He distributes his time between the parishes of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and San Ignacio in Caborca. He makes trips to Caborca in the company of Lt. Juan Mateo Mange and starts the building of a ship.

Feb. 1694 For the first time he enters the Sobe (Caborca) nation, accompanied by Father Marcos Antonio Kappus from Cucurpe and Lt. Juan Mateo Mange. On his second incursion, he discovers the port of Santa Sabina.

21 Oct. 1694 Father Francisco Javier Saeta arrives in Caborca.

Nov. 1694 Explores the Gila River up the Casa Grande ruins.

2 Apr. 1695 Father Francisco Javier Saeta is sacrificed by the Indians. An uprising over the Pimería Alta takes place and Father Kino reestablishes peace.

16 Nov. 1695 He goes to Mexico on horseback, arriving 7 weeks later[1] to explain about the Pimería uprising. He requests authorization for further expeditions to California.

1697 Father Kino makes several incursions up north with the Sobaípuris. He goes as far as San Xavier del Bac and the Quiburi, exploring the Santa María and San Pedro rivers, as far as their merger with the Gila River. He’s accompanied by Captain Juan Mateo Mange.

25 Feb. 1698 The Apaches attach Cocóspera, San Ignacio and Magdalena, whereupon these missions were totally ravaged. Furthermore, the Coro Chief of the Sobaípuris defeats them in battle.

22 Sept. 1698 Together with Capt. Diego Carrasco, he explores the Gila River; however, he falls sick at San Andres. He later heads toward the south and explores the “Papaguería,” and from the top of the “Cerro del Pinicate,” he sights for the first time the Gulf of California.

7 Feb. 1699 Fathers Kino and Adamo Gil, and Capt. Mange, explore what was known as “Satan’s Route.” As they go across the desert, they discover the mouth of the San Pedro River, leading to the Gila. Mange sees, from a distance, the Gila and the Colorado rivers’ merger.

24 Oct. 1699 Fathers Kino, Leal and Gonzalvo explore the Papaguería.

20 Mar. 1700 In Dolores he receives 20 blue shells, as a gift.

Apr. 1700 Second Lt. Juan Bautista Escalante brings in Tepoaca Indians to the village of Santa María de Magdalena.

28 Apr. 1700 The building of a larger church in San Xavier is initiated.

1 May 1700 At the conference of the “Blue Shells,” the natives affirm that a passage by land to California is possible. Kino heads toward this passage which leads to his discovery of California.

Sep. 1700 Expedition to the north and discovery of the Colorado River, across the desert, through “Satan’s Route,” (Camino del Diablo).

1 Mar. 1701 Along with Salvatierra, he plans a new expedition to the Colorado. From Sonoita they head to the Sea of California and, from the top of a mountain, they see far off the tip of the Gulf of California.

3 Nov. 1701 New incursion into the Colorado, crossing again through “Satan’s Route.”

21 Nov. 1701 Crosses the Colorado on raft en route to California.

5 Feb. 1702 Another expedition to the Colorado—in the company of Father Manuel Gonzalez—is successfully undertaken. Father Kino goes across “Satan’s Route” once more.

11 Mar. 1702 While celebrating Holy Mass, Father Kino watches the sun rising from the end of the sea and realizes that he’s standing on firm land. Father Manuel Gonzalez dies upon his return to Tubutama, Sonora, Mexico.

1703 Father Kino goes on building churches, such as Busaric and Sáric, and initiates construction of a major church at San Xavier del Bac.

17 Jan. 1704 Consecration of the Cocóspera and Remedios missions.

2 Apr. 1704 Father Kino arrives at San José de Guaymas.

21 Jan. 1706 Description and exploration of Santa Inés, on Tiburon Island.

2 Mar. 1706 Undertakes major constructions such as the Magdalena, Tubutama, Sáric, Pitiquito and Caborca churches.

22 Oct. 1706 Father Kino heads new explorations to Pinicate or Santa Clara.

15 Mar. 1711 Upon celebrating the Inaugural Mass at the Chapel of San Francisco (St. Francis Xavier) in Magdalena de Kino, Father Kino falls seriously ill and passes away near midnight on that date.[2]

1919 Herbert E. Bolton translates Father Kino’s memoirs of the Pimería Alta.

1928 Professor Serapio Dávila undertakes investigative work in order to discover Father Kino’s tomb.

1936 Bolton finishes Father Kino’s biography, entitled “Al borde de la Cristianidad” (The Rim of Christendom).

1963 The local Lion’s Club forms a team to discover the site of Father Kino’s tomb. Father Charles W. Polzer also lends a hand.

14 Feb. 1965 Father Kino’s statue is unveiled in Washington’s Capitol Rotunda—where the Nation’s Great lie.

19 May 1966 Finally, his mortal remains are found in the city of Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, by a group of researchers from Mexico and the United States.

21 May 1966 It is, therefore, this group of anthropologists’ conclusions that the remains found of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino are authentic.

2 May 1971 On this date, the monumental square in memory of Father Kino is inaugurated in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico.

[1] Arriving on January 8, 1696.

[2] Kino was 66. According to Bannon, Kino passed away in the arms of Padre Augustín de Campos. Footnote 27, Page 70, “Spanish Borderlands Frontier 1513-1821.”

Last updated: February 24, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 8067
Tumacacori, AZ 85640


520 377-5060

Contact Us