The World’s Largest Crucifix Is In a Small Town in Michigan

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renny67, Flickr

The state of Michigan in the United States is known for bordering the Great Lakes, its great hunting and outdoors recreation, and for being home to the big three U.S. automakers.

It also has another claim to fame that isn’t as well known: it is home to the largest crucifix in the world.

[See also: This Little-Known African Basilica Is the Largest Church in the World]

[See also: 16 of the Tallest Statues of Our Lord Jesus from Around the World]

Indian River, Michigan has a population of less than 2,000 people, but it has an amazing shrine called the Cross in the Woods. Open 365 days a year, with mass (nearly) every day, it has a giant crucifix measuring 31 ft high, making it the largest in the world.

The corpus was designed by accomplished American sculptor Marshall Fredericks in the 1950s. It took him four years to design it. It was then cast in bronze in Norway and shipped back to Michigan. Apparently, it was one of the largest castings ever to be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean at the time.

Here’s a picture of the crucifix (click on any image to view it full size):

a snapshot of our lives, Flickr
a snapshot of our lives, Flickr

And click here to see a great aerial video of the whole shrine.

carl turek, Vimeo
carl turek, Vimeo

The crucifix is just the centerpiece of the shrine. There are lots of other things to see and visit, including the “Nun Doll Museum” we featured previously.

There’s a big church that can seat 1,000 people that was built in the 1990s. Mass is offered nearly every day. There’s a beautiful Stations of the Cross outside.

There are also a bunch of smaller shrines. There are shrines to Our Lady of the Highway, St. Peregrine (patron saint of cancer patients), St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Francis of Assisi, and the Holy Family.

Here’s what a few of the shrines look like:

Our Lady of the Highway

via crossinthewoods.com
via crossinthewoods.com

St. Peregrine, patron saint of cancer patients

carl turek, Vimeo
carl turek, Vimeo

The Holy Family

via crossinthewoods.com
via crossinthewoods.com

Finally, there’s a Holy Stairs shrine, which has 28 stairs leading up to the giant crucifix to represent the 28 stairs that Jesus supposedly climbed to Pontius Pilate where he was condemned to death.

Here’s the Holy Stairs:

via crossinthewoods.com
via crossinthewoods.com

Doesn’t this sound like a cool place to make a pilgrimage to? You can learn more about the shrine on its official website.

[See also: Soaring Up to the Heavens: The World’s Top 10 Tallest Churches]

[See also: A Tour Inside the Strangely Awesome “Nun Doll Museum”]