San Xavier Mission – Sacred Space, Sacred Art

San Xavier Mission

San Xavier Mission © 2014 Bo Mackison

The calm within the storm is where peace lives and breathes. It is not within perfect circumstances or a charmed life… it is not conditional. Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery… go within. ~ Jaeda De Walt

The mission church at San Xavier del Bac is a special place. Built in the late 1700s, the church is still run by the Franciscan order that originally built it, and continues to serve and minister to the Tohono O’odham people.

The church is an amazing space, filled with statuary and murals, and dramatic elements such a painted theatrical curtains, painted walls to resemble colorful marble, and faux doors and decorative panels. Though I typically go to the desert in search of sacred spaces, I return to this unusual church again and again to sit in its space, touched by the culture, the art, and the sacred.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Silver Bird Photography says:

    This is a gorgeous shot! I love the repetition and color.

  2. I adore this sanctuary, this sacred place and am gobsmacked by your photo! It’s been well over a decade since I’ve visited there however it is unforgettable. Lovely post. Just lovely.l

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It is one of my favorite spaces in Arizona. Such a meditative place, even with crowds of people, as can often happen.

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