San Juan Bautista Monument
The Baptism of Jesus by Saint John the Baptist painting is “true fresco”, which was painted by A.T. Archuleta created with a technique in which natural pigment is applied to wet plaster where the pigments become embedded in the plaster/rock. The image depicts the baptism of Christ as it would have been if it would have occurred in the San Luis Valley. Since there are no major lakes or rivers in the Valley, Christ would have had access to only a small stream of water typical of what is found in the San Luis Valley.
In 1879, an adobe dwelling was built east of the San Juan Bautista church as a casa de cura, rectory for Jesuit Priests of the Society of Jesus. Later, it served as a convento, con…vent for the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. The last remaining wall of this dwelling has been preserved as a monument dedicated to the courageous Hispano people who settled in La Garita and to the Priests and Sisters that supported them in their Catholic faith. It is also dedicated to the Penitentes who helped keep the Catholic faith alive in the absence of priests during the early settlement.This monument was a gift to the San Juan Catholic Community and is a place of remembrance and contemplative prayer for all who visit. The walls that support and surround the original adobe wall were constructed from approximately 1,500 adobes and dirt from the collapsed walls.
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