San Diego del Pitiquito

Pitiquito was a visita of Caborca during the Jesuit period.

Its first adobe chapel was started in 1706 but gone by 1730. A second adobe chapel was completed in 1760s. Apparently this second chapel was so poorly furnished that when the Franciscans took over in 1768 the missionary had to bring his own liturgical items with him. In 1772 Franciscan bishop Antonio Reyes wrote that Pitiquito had neither a church nor a residence for the missionary. In the late 1770s efforts were undertaken to remedy the situation when construction started under Franciscan priest José Matías Moreno. Another Franciscan missionary, Fr. Font, brought the building to its initial state of completion in the 1780s.

In the 1966 a young girl who was attending Mass with her family looked at the nearby wall and saw an image of a skeleton appear before her eyes, prompting her to scream.  The walls had been whitewashed over the many years because the local women had used detergent to clean the walls; the chemicals in the detergent eventually reacted with the lime in the whitewash to disclose the ancient art.

Pitiquito’s painted frames are probably the Stations of the Cross that depict the passion of death of Christ.  They probably date from the time the church was finished in 1781 and may well represent the only place in the Pimería Alta where the hand of an O’odham painter survives.

Upcoming SMRC Mission Tours

Retrace the steps of Father Kino and the missionaries who followed him. You’ll be guided by scholars and enthusiasts who know and love the region and volunteer their time to share it with others.