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Unearthing the real Padre Kino

Eusebio Francisco Kino is one of the most brilliant, great-hearted and colorful characters in the history of Mexico, but outside of Sonora, he is, perhaps, somewhat forgotten.

pg9aWhen I heard that historian Carlos Lazcano had just published a book over 1,000 pages long on Padre Kino, I must confess that I was surprised (in my ignorance) that he had found so much to say. All I knew then was that Padre Kino, the man, had founded lots of missions while Padre Kino, the wine, was hardly worth one page of print, much less a thousand.

Lazcano’s tome is entitled “Kino en California,” and it is co-authored by Gabriel Gómez Padilla.

“It contains 500 pages of Padre Kino’s writings and 500 pages of my own,” says Lazcano.

Now I was intrigued. Besides founding missions, Padre Kino had obviously spent a lot of time writing – but about what? And was it really so important that Lazcano had penned 500 pages of comments on it?

Naturally, all this drove me straight to Wikipedia. Here I found that Kino was born in Trent, in 1645, as Eusebio Chini and that he was a missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer. Then follows much information on the founding of missions and, appropriately, only one line about the wine.

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