• Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.

    Tumacácori

    National Historical Park Arizona

Luis Xavier Velarde

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Cósari

Dolores

By

Ginny Sphar

Father Velarde was born on August 25, 1677, in Valladolid, Castilla, Spain. He entered the Society of Jesus on April 20, 1697. Apparently he did not arrive in Pimería Alta until two years after the death of Father Kino, and thus never met the man he eulogized so earnestly. Velarde professed his final vows before Father Campos at Opodepe on March 25, 1715. He was in charge at Dolores when he died there on December 2, 1737.[1]

Father Velarde succeeded Kino at Dolores, Remedios and Cocóspera. He apparently did not often trek much farther afield but welcomed visitors from the north. He said, “I have baptized 66 children belonging to the three above villages, and 129 from other rancherías to the north and from missions where there used to be fathers. Between 1716 and 1720, Campos and Velarde carried on and concentrated on the spiritual salvation of the young and infirm. There was really not enough time to catechize healthy adults.

To keep the heathen of the north coming to his villages, Father Velarde ordered, from Mexico City, a supply of gifts.[2]

Between November 1, 1725, and April 20, 1729, he reported that “57 marriages have been celebrated in facie ecclesiae for the natives from the villages of Santa María and Guevavi and their adjacent rancherías. From the same villages and rancherías and others farther into the interior whose people frequent our villages from the end of November until the end of January, 276 children have been baptized, most of whom have died of measles, but with the grace of baptism.”

With an escort of Pimas to protect him from roaming Apaches, Velarde planned to visit Santa María, Guevavi and various other rancherías after Easter "God willing.”[3]

Father Velarde died on December 2, 1737 while still in charge at Dolores.



[1] Campos, San Ignacio, September 9, 1720; Velarde, Dolores, September 10, 1720; printed in Francisco Javier Alegre, s.j., Historia de al Compañía de Jesus de Nueva Espana, ed. Burrus and Félix Zubillaga, s.j., 4 vols. (Roma: Institutum Historicum Societatis Jesu, 1956-60), pp. 504-507. Father Velarde was born on August 25, 1677, in Valladolid, Castilla, Spain. He entered the Society of Jesus on April 20, 1697. Apparently he did not arrive in Pimería Alta until two years after the death of Father Kino, and thus never met the man he eulogized so earnestly. Velarde professed his final vows before Father Campos at Opodepe on March 25, 1715. Still in charge at Dolores he died there on December 2, 1737. Pradeau and Burrus, “Los Jesuitas.”

[2] Donohue, “Jesuit Missions,” p. 108.

[3] Velarde, “Cathologo de esta Mission de Nuestra Senora de los Dolores Conversion de Pimas Altos desde 1 de Nov. de 1725, en que fue el ultimo, hasta la fha del presente,” Dolores, April 20, 1729, AHH, Temp., 17. Velarde to Father Rector Marcos de Somoza, Cocóspera, March 15, 1729; ibid.


To learn more about Padre Velarde go to Mission 2000 by clicking (here) and following the blue ID numbers. To return to Jesuit Missionaries, click (here).




 

Did You Know?

Tortilla Sonorense

The Tortilla Sonorense (Sonoran Tortilla), made of wheat flour, is patted and stretched until it is an arm's length in diameter before it is cooked.