Before I describe our visit here, I will post a link that will provide the complete story:
We had seen the shrine from a distance each time we visited San Luis.
“So how do you get up there?” I once asked.
“Most people walk. A trail leads up to it. There is a road you can take, too–so you can drive it if you don’t want to walk.”
Five years ago, I considered walking the trail. It was a Sunday. I was alone in the motel since Howard went on his own jaunt to San Acacio. I didn’t know when he would return, so I opted to walk about the town and save the shrine for later. I fell into the same pattern this year only now, I decided I wanted to see it. And the weather cleared up the Sunday afternoon we were there.
We were not in any condition to walk the trail, so I made a suggestion:
“Let’s drive it!”
It took a while for us to find the road.
Once we found it, we wound our way up to the shrine.
The chapel is a magnificent structure. On our previous visits to San Luis, we would either stand in the parking lot of our motel or on the streets of San Luis and look up at it. We could plainly see it from those vantage points.
The interior is quiet–a peaceful place where visitors can either meditate or pray.
Because we drove, we missed some of the earlier stations. The following is a picture of the first stage we encountered.
Just beyond that, we encountered Jesus being nailed to a cross.
The Crucifixion followed.
The next station depicted Jesus’ body in the care of his mother Mary.
Traditionally, there are fourteen stations of the Cross. The artist added a fifteenth station: the Resurrection
An empty cross stands along the walkway. People have hung rosaries on it over the years.
The edge of the shrine drew my interest. It was then I noticed the wind had changed and clouds were beginning to form. There was no way we were walking up a trail that led to a grotto. So I walked to the edge of the shrine and looked down over the town of San Luis. However, the view across the plains gave me a fright.
When I looked across the plains, I noticed the wind had become really strong. And when I stood on the edge to take the picture, the wind grabbed me, almost pulling me over. I dropped down on the ground and sat there for a few moments. Then I stood up again and snapped the photo.
We paused in the parking lot and glanced up the trail. The clouds were becoming dark, and I knew a storm was approaching. We did not see the whole display, but what we saw of it provided a moving experience. The town of San Luis is celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the shrine in June. When Howard and I first visited San Luis together in 2002, we met the artist–Huberto Maestas–in an art gallery. He now lives outside San Luis but at that time, I believe he lived in town.
“We’d better get out of here!” Howard told me. “Let’s go!”
We jumped inside the car and headed down the road toward town. Threatening clouds followed us all the way back to our motel.
The hail storm erupted as soon as we arrived at the motel. We didn’t waste time in getting inside, glad to have had the experience and wishing we could have seen more of the exhibit.
I regard it as a highlight of our trip!