San Luis

Colorado¶s Oldest Surviving Town Stations of the Cross Shrine

Paul Richardson 2010

San Luis, Colorado is only a few miles north of the New Mexico state line in the San Luis valley of south central Colorado. San Luis was founded in 1851 by Carlos Beaubien one of the original grantees for the Sangre de Christo Land Grant. He convinced 50 families to be the first residents. The Stations of the Cross Shrine is a series of graphic meditations of the last hours of Christ¶s life. It depicts His judgment, suffering, and death. They also include, at the "15th Station," the Resurrection which is shown as the cover picture. The shrine combines a mile long trail with the statues positioned along it which ends on the top of the ridge where the shrine church is located. You should allow some time because there is a lot to see. There are bronze plaques at each station which record the pertinent scripture verse(s). The shrine is formally known as "La Mesa de la Piedad y de la Misericordia" (Hill of Piety and Mercy). The sculptor is Huberto Maestas, a San Luis native and creator of the town's Stations of the Cross Shrine. The church is a classic example of old mission architectural style common in the American southwest. It has the domed crossing with half domes for the arms of the cruciform. It is simple but powerful on the interior. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is a Christian or to anyone who likes human subject sculpture. Other attractions in the area are the Fort Garland museum and the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

For Reference: The fourteen ways of the cross from Wikipedia 1. Jesus is condemned to death 2. Jesus is given his cross 3. Jesus falls the first time 4. Jesus meets His Mother 5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross 6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus 7. Jesus falls the second time 8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem 9. Jesus falls the third time 10. Jesus is stripped of His garments 11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross 12. Jesus dies on the cross 13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation) 14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.

Pilate washing hands and condemning Jesus

Jesus is given his cross

Jesus falls the first time

Jesus and Mary

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus falls the second time

Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

Daughters

Jesus falls third time

Jesus stripped of his clothes

Nailed to the cross

Hadn¶t thought about it before but the sculptor realized it would take a lot to drive in those nails.

Crucifixion

Mary and Jesus

Stations of the Cross Shrine

Interior is striking in its simplicity.

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