A Unique Shrine of Concrete and Rocks in Yarnell
Nobody can say for sure if any miracles have actually happened at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Yarnell, but the story behind its creation is almost a miracle itself. It was built by a dishwasher on a site unsuitable for any kind of construction, and under the supervision of a family that had to invent a new type of concrete to make it happen.
In the 1940s, the Wasson family decided to build a statue of St. Joseph on the boulder-strewn hills that surround Yarnell. They found Felix Lucero, an unemployed artist, working as a dishwasher in Tucson and asked him to create the sculpture. But first, they had to develop a slow-setting concrete because it had to be carried up the hillsides and across the huge rocks. Once the statue was finished, the family decided to expand the site to include five other works depicting the life of Jesus Christ. Now a rock-lined path leads visitors past the sculptures.
The shrine, located about a half-mile west of Highway 89 as it passes through Yarnell, is open daily during daylight hours. There’s no charge to visit but donations are accepted. For more information, visit St. Joseph Shrine.
I’ve visited this shrine many times and it is always a restful and prayerful experience for me. Thanks for giving more of the history of this beautiful place.
The shrine works for me. Years ago when work wasn’t going well I spent a lot of time in silence alone behind the cross — it helped.
Later used the retreat center to teach confirmation class and took classes on silent tours of the shrine to teach selfless sacrifice.
One of my family’s favorite places to go and spend some quiet time. We’ve taken our children and our grandchildren. I have been going there since a little girl — I remember all the apostles sitting at the table with Jesus!
I hope the Yarnell fire did not do too much damage to the artifacts.
The Shrine of St. Joseph does have losses from the Yarnell Fire. Go to http://www.gofundme.com to donate for the rebuilding of the Crucifix, handrails, another cross, the gift shop, and seven buildings at the Retreat Center.
Please help by posting to Facebook: http://funds.gofundme.com/index.php?route=share2/facebook&url=3l4rr4
We need to raise the funds so that the Shrine of St. Joseph can continue to provide a peaceful place for reflection.
It’s going to be up to you and I to do it.The president has changed his mind and isn’t sending any of the promised aid to AZ.