Just when you think you know everything about this amazing state you learn something new and interesting.

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I was talking to a friend about Indiana River, Michigan.

I was telling them about when I was younger a bunch of guys in my family would get a cabin to stay at for the week and we would all chip in for food and drinks.

Some guys would just play cards, others like me tried to fish every chance I could get.

My friend asked me if saw the giant gross in Indiana River and I had no clue what they were talking about.

Michigan Is Home To The 2nd Largest Crucifix In The World

Turns out the giant cross is known as The Cross in the Woods, It's located in Indian River, Michigan, and is the world's second-largest crucifix, standing at 55 feet tall and 22 feet wide.

Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
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The figure of Christ weighs about 14,000 pounds.

History of The Cross In The Woods

This is how the Cross in the Woods came to be.

In early April 1946, Bishop Francis Haas, of Grand Rapids, Michigan traveled to northern Michigan to make a survey for a church in the Indian River area.

Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
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On June 23, 1946, Fr. Charles D. Brophy learned that he would become administrator of the new parish in Indian River and the mission church of St. Monica’s in Afton.

The Commission decided to grant the land to the new parish in May 1948. The cost was $1.00 and a box of candy for the secretary!

Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
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Memorial Day weekend 1949 saw the completion of the new church.

At the dedication Mass for the new church, Fr. Brophy announced plans for Calvary Hill with a large wooden Cross. It was decided that the largest crucifix in the world should be created.

Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
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In July 1952, Bishop Babcock of Grand Rapids gave permission to begin the construction of Calvary Hill.

On August 5, 1954, the Cross was lifted into place. At the dedication ceremony, an estimated 3000 people heard Bishop Babcock state that

“The Cross looks like an empty house without the figure of Christ on it”.

 

He announced that renowned Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks had accepted the commission to design the figure of Christ.

Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
Credit: thatonecatholicgirl via Youtube
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On August 9, 1959, work began very early in the morning, but by 6:00 pm the figure of Christ was finally raised and attached to the Cross. A week later thousands attended the dedication ceremony.

Things You Can Do At The Cross In The Woods

Besides the impressive crucifix, visitors can explore various statues, churches, and a nun doll museum on the site. The museum houses over 500 dolls dressed in traditional religious attire and is part of the unique experience offered at the Cross in the Woods Shrine.

The shrine is open year-round, with daily masses held at the church on-site. Additionally, weddings can be arranged at the Cross in the Woods, offering a special and spiritual setting for couples.

You can learn more about the Cross in the Woods by clicking here.

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