Construction begins on 39-foot cross in Chile

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Construction on a 39 foot-tall cross, called the Missionary Cross of Chile, has begun at the Shrine of St. Teresa of the Andes in the South American country.

The project began in the city of Auco, where the mother of project's benefactor, Julia Montenegro de Galdames, told her son before she died that she wanted to consecrate the valley with a giant cross as a sign of her love for Christ and the Church.

“My mother was always worried about helping the Church, and this came from the idea that she wanted to see a cross raised on these hills that are so barren, to touch the hearts of the people who pass by,” Mariano Galdames recalled.

Construction on the cross has already begun, and the first stage of the project will be blessed on October 19 during a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Teresa of the Andes.

The cross is expected to be finished by Easter of 2014.

Since the Youth Mission gathering in 2012, which brought together all of Chile's bishops in the city of Punta de Tralca, 27 missionary crosses have been taken on pilgrimage across the country.

The new Missionary Cross of Chile will symbolize those crosses.

The cross will be made of wooden blocks sent in by all the dioceses in Chile and which contain engravings of significant cultural and religious events in each location.

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