For the early Christians, the cross brought
painful memories for it was still being used as a means of execution. As Chritianity focused
more and more on Christ's resurrection, the cross became a sign of victory.That is why the
earliest portrayals of Jesus upon the cross, from the 6th to the 12th century, shows Jesus alive,
crownedand robed in majesty. Perhaps the crusades and pilgrimages to the Holy Land helped
to present the Lord in His sufferings. From the 13th century, the cross became associated with
the passion and death of Christ. Today, crusifixes attempt to convey both aspects of the
redemptive Christ achieved by His death and resurrection.
When the Shrine was first planned, the fourteen stations of the cross and a large crucifix were
to be included. However, whrn the stations first arrived, there were no funds available to properly
install them. The original statipns had to be hung on the trees. Later, several parishioners
retrieved the large crucifix from the old church uptown. Unfortunately, that cross was not
appropriately finished to withstand outdoor weather, so it became distorted and damaged over
The Guadalupe Society felt the cross needed to be replaced and properly protected. Mike Vasquez
took it upon himself to go to Juavalajara, Mexico to buy a statue of the life size body of Christ (a
corpus). He and his family waited the four days until it was completed. When he brought it back,
Mike went to a local sawmill and bought a piece of red oak wood that was hewn to fit perfectly.
Dave Nash was contracted to build the chapel in 2006. Here in the chapel the large crucifix was
protected and visitors to the shrine had a place which to pray and reflect on the love of Christ.