Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 21, 1990):
The site of Mission Los Santos Angeles de Guavavi, which presently consists of the ruins of an adobe church and "convento", is associated with the 17th and 18th century Society of Jesus (Jesuit) missionary efforts to Christianize and acculturate the Piman Indian groups on the northwest frontier of New Spain in what in now southern Arizona. This site was the first "cabecera," or head church, to be founded by the Jesuit religious order in this area and represents the northern-most extension of the Jesuit mission chain. The extant ruins were constructed in 1745-1751 and abandoned in 1773. The mission base established by the Jesuit fathers in Pimeria Alta were stepping stones from which the succeeding Franciscans settled California.