The proper name for the giant, 15-foot statue of Jesus on the side of the road off I-27 in Abernathy is the Cristo De Mi Paso.

I spoke with Father Jacob, from St. Isidore Catholic Church in Abernathy, where the statue is housed.

He related the story of the statue, which is a replica of one originally built in Ecuador. The statue is based on a vision received by a parishioner of the church in Ecuador. The parishioner said that in the vision, he saw Christ on the cross and the cross swaying to and fro, creating a gap between Christ and the cross. He then said that Jesus spoke to him, saying "I want that the whole humanity pass between me and the cross."

The story so appealed to Colombian priest Louis Dussan that he had a replica built while he served a parish in California.

When he transferred to Fort Worth, Texas, he took the statue with him. Then, when he moved to Abernathy in 1995, he brought the statue. The building, or "shrine," around it was built in 1997.

Dussan said he wanted people traveling either way on I-27 and his parishioners to be reminded of the sacrifice that Christ made for us all and to remember His greatest commandment, which is to love one another.

Father Jacob said many people pray and bring prayers to the statue, and that he has heard many stories of miraculous healings that have taken place there.

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