Every year, Loreto and the surrounding area feature numerous festivals held in honor of San Francisco Javier, the patron saint of the San Francisco Javier de Vigge Biaundo Mission.
Located about 20 miles south of Loreto there is an iconic building known as the "Joya de las Misiones de Baja California" (The Jewel of the Baja California Missions) due to its impressive history and beautiful Baroque-style architecture, a place that bore witness to the colonization of Baja California. The site was originally home to a small chapel that was founded by the missionary priest Francisco Maria Piccolo at the end of the 17th century. The current building was designed and built by Father Miguel Barco at the end of the 18th century, featuring distinctive interior archways, sculptures, and oil paintings, as well as Churrigueresque-style gilded altarpieces and a cemetery.
Hundreds of pilgrims come to the site to renew their faith from December 1st - 3rd by participating in traditional festivals, which include numerous cultural and religious activities. The most representative of these are a 20 mile procession from the San Telmo Bridge to the village of San Javier, a visit to the olive groves planted by the Jesuits, and a trip to Las Parras Ranch, which is home to a chapel that is over 200 years old.
Outside the mission you'll find the Golgotha Cross, where lots of pilgrims start a journey on their knees to the altar to pray to San Francisco Javier. Each day there is a mass at daybreak, followed by more ceremonies, rosaries, and of course, the midnight serenade on December 2nd.
This beautiful corner of Mexico by the Sea of Cortez has a unique charm, created by the contrasting sceneries of desert, ocean and mountains. The region boasts a vast array of hotels and accommodation options, while the local cuisine is equally varied, ranging from the famous Mexican chocolate clams to beef and fish burritos, not to mention the fantastic Californian wines. For your next vacation come to Baja California Sur, discover its traditions, and feel the warmth of the people.
The Festivals of San Javier
- Tere Leetch