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JESUITICA: Arizona hero

kino_01Since 1864 each US state can display statues of two of its heroes in the US Capitol. There are two Jesuits included, Michigan’s Jacques Marquette (see last week’s Express) and Arizona’s Eusebio Francisco Kino, an Italian Jesuit who in the spring of 1687 started work among a group of Indians on the far northwest frontier of New Spain. The region where Kino worked, which he called the “Pimería Alta,” or “Upper Pima Country,” is now divided between the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona. Father Kino and his successors changed the face of the Pimería Alta forever. They brought with them a new religion, a new political system, and new crops and domesticated animals.