Largest Crucifix in World a Site to See in Indian River, Michigan
The National Shrine of Cross in the Woods, located in Indian River, is the largest crucifix in the world. This amazing site was declared a national shrine by the Bishops in 2006. Visitors to the area or looking for something unique that our state offers should consider checking out this one of a kind sculpture and other items.
The Cross in the Woods is 31 feet tall. The sculpture consists of a wooden cross with a bronze figure attached to it. The crucifix was made in Norway and is one of the largest castings to ever be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. To put the crucifix on the cross, it took days and lots of manpower.
This landmark location is open 365 days a year and holds masses every day for all denominations. Blessed by the bishops in 2006, it is one of only two National Shrines in the state. The other location is the National Shrine of Little Flower in Royal Oak. Mass is held daily at 8:30 am and noon Tuesday through Friday. On Saturday, only one mass ceremony is held at 4:30 pm. Sundays have mass at 8:30 am and 10:30 am.
Along with the Cross in the Woods, the grounds for this location feature other shrines that visitors can see:
- Saint Peregrine: patron of those who are suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS
- Shrine of St. Francis
- Our Lady of the Highway: welcome travelers and pilgrims
- Shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha (newer shrine received in 2001)
- The Holy Family
- McGivney Memorial
The Cross in the Woods also features the Nul Doll Museum. This is the largest collection of dolls dressed in traditional attire of men and women of religious communities in the United States.
Marshall Fredericks is the sculptor of the Cross in the Woods. Fredericks chose to leave out the crown of thorns and wounds on his crucifix to show a more peaceful side of the often told story.
If the name Marshall Fredericks isn’t familiar to you, chances are you’ve seen his work and just didn’t know it was him. Michigan is home to some of his most famous pieces of work including:
- Boy and Bear: Northland Shopping Center
- Boy and Bear alternate version: Frederik Meijer Gardens
- Spirit of Detroit: Municipal Center Detroit
I had the privilege to visit Cross in the Woods back in 2000. The large 31 foot crucifix structure is a sight to behold. All denominations are welcome and will all appreciate what was originally built as a place for Catholics to worship. The location is just off of I-75 near Petoskey.