Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2/25/14 We Visit San Xavier Mission

(Wa:k, AZ)

Did you ever want to step back in time?  All the way back to the 18th century even?  We did just that today.  We being Deb L, my friend who came to Quail Run after reading this blog, Bonnie L. my good friend here in the park, Dianne, my friend visiting from home and of course me.

Deb picked us up at 9:30, well, it would have been 9:30 but we got up at that time so she came in and visited with Bob while Dianne and I ran around like chickens with our heads cut off.  I called Bonnie to let her know we were running a little late.  It wasn’t too bad because we were ready in 15 minutes.

So we headed east on I-10 to Tucson.  We’re going to San Xavier Mission Del Bac located in Wa:k (yes, that’s how its spelled) Village.  We found out when we arrived that we had been pronouncing the name of the mission incorrectly.  Probably 99% of you pronounce it the same way we were. 
San X-za-vee-er.  Uh-uh, wrong.  San Ha-vare.

Take notice in the picture above that the tower top is missing on the right hand side.  It didn’t fall down, it was never built.  There are several legends about why it wasn’t built, the two most popular are as follows.  The one we heard about had to do with taxation.  That if it was finished the church would be taxed, but taxation didn’t apply to buildings under construction so they left it undone.  The second has to do with leaving it undone so that when the Excellent Builder returns he will direct the completion.

We made sure to get our picture taken in front of this beautiful building.

The mission is undergoing a renovation as you can see in the following pictures.


Wall adornment inside the museum section of the building.




We saw the following symbol several times and it is quite popular in the Southwest.

Man in the Maze

I did some research and found the following on Wikipedia.  These are just two explanations of the meaning of the Man in the Maze.
According to O'odham tribe oral history, the labyrinth design depicts experiences and choices we make in our journey through life. In the middle of the "maze", a person finds their dreams and goals. When one reaches the center, we have one final opportunity (the last turn in the design) to look back upon our choices and path, before the Sun God greets us, blesses us and passes us into the next world.

As told by Alfretta Antone:
Elder Brother lived in the maze ... and the reason why he lived in the maze was because ... I think how I'm gonna say this ... magician or oh, medicine man that can disappear, and that can do things, heal people and things like that ... that was Elder Brother ... Se:he ... they called him ... he lived in there ... but he had a lot of enemies so he made that, and to live in there people would go in there but they couldn't find him ... they would turn around and go back.
But in real life ... when you look at the maze you start from the top and go into the maze ... your life, you go down and then you reach a place where you have to turn around ... maybe in your own life you fall, something happens in your home, you are sad, you pick yourself up and you go on through the maze ... you go on and on and on ... so many places in there you might ... maybe your child died ... or maybe somebody died, or you stop, you fall and you feel bad ... you get up, turn around and go again ... when you reach that middle of the maze ... that's when you see the Sun God and the Sun God blesses you and say you have made it ... that's where you die.
The maze is a symbol of life ... happiness, sadness ... and you reach your goal ... there's a dream there, and you reach that dream when you get to the middle of the maze ... that's how I was told, my grandparents told me that's how the maze is.
So there you have it.

Take notice of the two statues in the next pictures.  Do you see the difference?


No, the one of bottom was beheaded and it wasn’t vandalism that marred this statue.  The area was struck by an earthquake and the heads on the some of the statues broken loose.  It was decided not to fix them.

It was time to go inside.  This is the original door.


Do I even have to say the inside is breathtaking?



There are over 170 angels painted onto the walls and ceiling of this building.

Deb taking it all in.
It was truly beautiful and so peaceful inside.

We were all so glad we went to see and experience this 18th century mission.  Did I tell you that it is still an active church today?

From here went to the Desert Museum but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

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