People, Places and Events on Stamps

San Xavier del Bac

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8-cent San Xavier del Bac Mission stamp

Located on what today is the Pápago Indian Reservation in Tucson, Arizona, San Xavier del Bac Mission, which is also known as “White Dove of the Desert,” is a masterpiece of Spanish Colonial architecture. Jesuit Father Kino founded the mission in 1692 to serve the local Pápago tribe. In 1783, Franciscan monks began to renovate the mission. Today’s renovated building, which is part Moorish and part Byzantine, has a domed roof and is an adobe jumble of frescos, carved saints, and two lions. The lions represent Castile and are often decked with white satin bow ties. The mission is depicted on a block of four 8-cent Historic Preservation stamps issued October 29, 1971.