The image of Christ stands 8 meters below an ice crust.
More than 1,200 faithful from the United States have gone to Lake Michigan to walk on frozen water and worship the image of the Crucified Christ that is under the ice, 8 meters below the surface and more than 200 meters from the coast.
For the last four years, the crucifix could not be seen due to the instability of the ice, but the winter cold win of 2019 gave it the necessary consistency. So on March 9th, visitors went to the town of Petoskey on Little Traverse Bay Bay to see the sculpture with the help of underwater lighting and a tent to protect from the sun’s rays.
“When weather permits, a local dive club drills a hole in the ice and invites people to see the statue. It’s the only way to look at the crucifix, as well as dive to the bottom of the lake, ” Laurent Fady, representative of the Northern Michigan Aerial Services , told the ACI Group on March 13.
Origin of the Petoskey Crucifix
The image of Christ, 3.35 meters long and 839 kilograms, was carved in white marble in Italy in 1956 by local artisans.
It was commissioned by a family of farmers in the town of Rapson when his 15-year-old son, Gerald Schipinski, died in an accident at the family farm. After the dramatic event, the parents of the minor chose the crucifix to put on his grave. However, the image was badly damaged due to its transportation across the ocean. When the land arrived, the parents refused to accept it and demanded a new one.
How to return it to Italy would be very costly, they decided to lend him for a season to the Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Rapson. The following year, it was sold for only $ 50 at a local scuba club, which then decided to dip the image in honor of Charles Raymond, a diver from Southgate, Michigan, who drowned at nearby Torch Lake.
Later, the divers extended their homage and included all the divers who lost their lives in the waters of Michigan.
Every year, on a Saturday in February or March, if the ice is firm, the public is invited to cross the ice to see the crucifix. During the last few years, the ice was unstable and visitors were not invited.
In 2015, the last year the public saw the crucifix, the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team reported a record 2,021 local and international visitors queuing for two and a half hours to see the crucifix and pray.
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( ACI Digital )