Friday, April 2, 2010

Garden of Gethsemane

From the Reverse - "THE LAST SUPPER - "Take, eat; this is my body." St. Matthew 26:26. The breaking of the bread at The Last Supper is the central piece among several sculptured religious representations by Felix Lucero in the Garden of Gethsemane on the west bank of the Santa Cruz river at the Congress Street bridge, Tucson, Arizona."

Felix Lucero Park, more commonly known as the Garden of Gethsemane, sits next to the usually-dry riverbed of the Santa Cruz River here in Tucson. The park, which is very small, contains sand and plaster sculptures depicting people and scenes from the New Testament, such as the Last Supper pictured on this postcard. Lucero was a homeless WWI veteran who lived under the Congress Street Bridge and built the statues over a series of years out of material he recovered from the Santa Cruz River.

The legend goes that Lucero was injured in battle and made a pact with the Virgin Mary that if he survived he's dedicate his life to making religious art. Apparently, they both made good on their respective ends of the deal.

Here's the info if you want to visit the park. The city likes to advertise it as a tourist spot, but be aware that it's a favorite hang out from vagrants, the homeless, and less savory characters. Considering Lucero's story, I'm happy to share the park with homeless folks - perhaps they have a better right to be there than I do - but I take a friend with me on the visit all the same.
Address: 602 W. Congress St., Tucson, AZ
Directions: To Felix Lucero Park, take I-10 to exit 258. Head West on Congress St. for one block. It's located on the western bank of the Santa Cruz River, at the corner of Congress St. and Bonita Ave.
Hours: Daily 7:00 AM - Sunset.
Phone: 520-791-4873

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