This cross proudly stands atop the hills overlooking the small Arizona town of Superior.

Around the time of its creation, much of the town’s residents were devout Catholics. So, on May 3rd, 1936, a group of miners set out to construct this monument overlooking their homes and workplaces, to be blessed by a town priest, after its completion. At the base of the cross is a small window for offerings or candlesโ€”presumably, before prayer.

This hill was selected for its prominence. From its peak, you can see everything for milesโ€”the glorious Picketpost Mountain to the west, the historic Magma Mine to the north, where many of them worked, and the town immediately below. To them, it would serve as a reminder of the crucifixion of Jesus and act as a sentinel, of sorts.

The Sun Sets Behind Picketpost Mountain and The Cross of Santa Ana
The Sun Sets Behind Picketpost Mountain and The Cross of Santa Ana

For decades, every Easter Sunday, they would symbolically pick up their own crosses (much lighter than this one, I assure you) and carry them to the top of this hill, just as Christ would have done at Golgotha. By this tradition, they believed themselves to be blessed.

Although this monument was built in remembrance of the work of Jesus, it was dedicated to Santa Ana (Saint Anne), the mother of the virgin Mary, according to the Catholic Church.

Santa Ana (Saint Anne)

Although it has been years since the town has practiced this cross-carrying discipline, there are still those who make the climb to the cross, to ask for provision and protection for their familiesโ€”in fact, I met a local man during my time here, who had come to do just that.

A number of the Saint Anne crossโ€™s creators are still alive today, living in Globe, Arizona.

Oh, I almost forgot! There’s another, less impressive wooden cross, not far behind this one. The locals simply refer to it as “Second Cross.”

*Special thanks to the Gila County Historical Museum and the Superior Chamber Of Commerce for their added insight.

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