Switzerland: A New Cross at the Summit of Mount Cûa

January 09, 2023
Source: fsspx.news

The Cuâ, which culminates at 1713 m (5,620 ft.), is the emblematic mountain of the members of the Ski-Club Grandvillard which was founded on March 13, 1947. 13 skiers had come together to give birth to this new society.

Denise Sonney, in Présence sur la montagne en Terre fribourgeoise (La Sarine, 2012), tells the story of this “small trapezium-shaped summit with a bare slope”: “Since Le Cuâ was a playground of joy and meetings, very early on it was honored by men with a cross on its top: an anchor to faith, solidarity, perseverance and the joy of living.”

“This symbol brought together the founding members on August 14, 1949. They carried up an oak cross on men's backs. Every year, a Mass was celebrated there.”

During the summer of 1974, lightning struck and broke this first cross. This was an opportunity to modify its base with a metal support made by the village blacksmith, Félix Raboud. The mason Jean-Paul Zenoni worked on the base and Raymond Borcard prepared the cross. The members of the Ski-Club transported it on their backs and installed it on July 19, 1975.

Since 1986, on August 15, the cross has been illuminated, at the same time as that of its neighbor opposite, the cross of Vanil-de-l'Arche.

12 years later, the wrath of heaven struck again. But the next cross lasted only three years. In 1990, for the fourth time since 1949, a new cross was designed and made by the same craftsman, Raymond Borcard, who was in his twenties in 1949. Damaged in 2018 by a bird that made its nest there, the cross had to again be replaced.

This summer 2022, a new cross was carried up by the Ski-Club. Made by the craftsmen of Grandvillard, it measures 4.50 meters by 3 meters, specifies the daily La Liberté. Made of larch wood, it weighs more than 220 kilos and was carried on the backs of men.

As is customary, the illumination of the cross took place on August 15. This fifth cross was blessed on June 12, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Ski-Club.

Most of the summit crosses were installed in Catholic regions of the Alps during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, following the development of mountaineering. The first documented raising of a cross in Switzerland took place on the Monte Rosa massif in 1819.