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Stations of the Cross Shrine

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1989, 1992. Corner of Colorado 159 (Main St.) and Colorado 142

The only major shrine built in Colorado in decades is a notable work of art as well as the centerpiece of a spiritual and artistic renaissance in San Luis. From Main Street, a rustic double-span bridge carries Highway 142 over Culebra Creek to the trailhead for the pilgrimage up La Mesa de la Piedad y de la Misericordia (hill of piety and mercy). The shrine, sited on a rocky hillside of sagebrush and yucca, was the dream of Father Jose Maximo Patricio Valdez, pastor of Sangre de Cristo Catholic Church. Volunteers constructed the 1.5-mile walk with fourteen stations of the cross, consisting of evocative bronze sculptures (1989, Huberto Maestas) on pedestals of native volcanic stone. The landscaped trail winds its way up a hill to a sculpture of Christ's resurrection, a grotto shrine, and a mesa-top Knights of Columbus Environmental Education Building (1994, Arnold Valdez). The latter is an arc of glass framed in a neo–Pueblo Revival structure overlooking the town below. Also atop the mesa is La Capilla de Todos los Santos (1995, Arnold Valdez and Michael Bertia), with twin domed bell towers at the entry and four larger domes over the sanctuary, transepts, and apse of a finely detailed adobe chapel.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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