Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Shrine of St. Joseph...

To be very honest, in all the 25+ years I've lived in and around Prescott, I never had a yearning to visit the Shrine of St. Joseph of the Mountain down in Yarnell. I presumed that it was a drawing card for the more religious among us, and nothing else. But while we were waiting for the crowds to gather for the big Buzzard's Bash picnic, Patty and Bob suggested that we visit the shrine. I'm so very glad that we did.

As many times as I have motored through Yarnell on SR 89, I never realized just how beautiful it could be back amongst the granites and the live oaks. These woodlands are enchanted!

The story according to this Catholic source: The shrine was built and is maintained by a group of lay men and women from the Phoenix area that promotes St. Joseph as the foster father of Jesus, head of the Holy Family, and patron and role model to the family of today. The original lay group came from various parishes in the area in 1934 and its purpose was to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy, regardless of race or creed.

The bronze sculpture above is the risen Christ. In the background, friend Patty can be seen, entering the cave...

where a sculpture of the crucified Christ is lying, awaiting the Resurrection.

The sculpture above, of a woman consoling the dying Christ, is one in a series depicting the Passion as one ascends the hill.

I chose the other route up the hillside, past the praying Jesus.

These stairs wound uphill taking the visitor to the 14 stations of the cross.

At each of the crosses, there is a seat among the stones for prayer, contemplation or simply soaking in the scenery.

A plaque on each of the crosses describes the event depicted. And, no, I did not make it all the way to the top; the climb was steep and the old lungs aren't up to it.

A visit to the shrine is worth your time. I'd suggest you wait another three or four weeks, when the scarlet bugler penstemon may have started blooming and, with the rain we've had, possibly the blue delphinium plants as well. For our visit, the manzanita (above) was in bloom and there was a little fruit tree with blossoms; I'd guess that it started from a peach pit a visitor threw away. And to my European visitors: if those blossoms above look familiar, it is because our very southwestern manzanita (little apple) belongs to the heather/erica clan.


catalyst said...

Believe it or not, I also have visited the shrine. It is moving, especially when there is no one else around.

Anonymous said...

I not much on organized religion, but the trip with you was nice.

Granny J said...

Fortunately, it was a Tuesday when we visited, so there was only a scattered handful of people, Mr. Cat-a. The setting does not like crowds,I would say.

Steve, I'm much like you -- that's why it took over 25 years for me to make the scene. ButI'm glad to have done it finally.

Aftersox said...

I'm a teapot atheist myself, but I often go to churches just for the music, the chat, the free coffee, and beauty.

And some of these photos are a good example of some of the beauty, thanks.

Granny J said...

And thank you for your visit, Ms. Aftersox. You're very right about one of the important functions of the church in our sometimes lonely world.

Granny J said...

Sorry, Mr. Aftersox!

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