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‘Jesus Is Hanging Upside Down': Winds Destroy Crucifix At San Gabriel Mission

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(CBS) Pete Demetriou
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The winds may have died down, but the damage left behind at one Southland mission may require divine intervention to repair.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports broken tree branches and an upside-down statue of Jesus Christ are all that remains Friday of the monument at the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles County.

The 20-foot-tall crucifix stood for 75 years at the historic Mission San Gabriel before it was smashed by a falling eucalyptus tree.

Chuck Lyons on the mission staff said the monument was shattered by the impact of the 70-foot-tall tree which broke off mid-trunk before striking the monument…

“Jesus is hanging upside down on the cross, his arms are broken off,” said Lyons.

A metal statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is still standing just inches from the fallen tree.

Al Sanchez, the business manager of the Mission and museum, looked sadly at the remains of the crucifix that had been there since 1935.

“We’re hoping to get somebody out here right away so at least it looks presentable, because as you can see it’s quite a sight,” said Sanchez.

While tree specialists will remove the debris, Sanchez said repairing the monument may involve a donor or some inspiration from a higher authority.

Still, Lyons does see some higher purpose in the destruction.

“There’s some interesting signs, one of the hands was pointing up,” he said. “Also, two, three huge limbs, trunks of the tree fell, but they barely nudged Mary and she’s still standing.”

The public is invited to help cleanup the wind damage Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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