Part eleven: Exploring the Shrine of San Luis
In the morning, we walked up the mesa to the shrine. The road was steep but we climbed it slowly praying the Stations of the Cross that are scattered along the trail. The Stations are made of bronze by a local sculptor. There are small models of these stations in the Vatican! We reached the beautiful white chapel but only looked at it quickly as we were headed for the outdoor altar at the top of the hill. The climb was easy and our tough pilgrim feet made nothing of the half-mile walk. We could hear some locals who showed up for mass complaining about the length and steepness of the climb!
The parish priest celebrated Mass for us on top of the mountain. A curious magpie also attended the Mass! On the way down, we looked at the statues of the Mexican martyrs that line the trail. It was amazing how many of them there were. The shrine church is small and simple but looks huge from a distance because the trees near it are small pines and there are no other buildings nearby.
In the afternoon, I strolled back up to the shrine and wandered around taking pictures of insects, lizards, and plants. A bunch of “holy” lizards were sunning themselves on the plaza in front of the church. I sat for a while in the church and prayed.
I walked back down the mountain to find that a ride had arrived for one of the other pilgrims but that my ride would not reach San Luis until the evening. So I decided to walk around San Luis to pass the time. In my final pilgrimage post, I will tell more about San Luis and my reflections about the pilgrim experience.