Crucifix from infamous NM prison riot finds home

October 5, 2011 - 12:25 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A crucifix that survived one of the most violent prison riots in U.S. history has been permanently relocated.

KOAT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/nfrYPw) the crucifix provided a symbol of survival for hundreds of inmates and prison officials during the violent 1980 riot at New Mexico's maximum-security penitentiary.

The crucifix was relocated Tuesday to St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe. The secretary of corrections gifted the crucifix to the church last year.

Thirty-three people died in the 1980 riot at the prison south of Santa Fe, and most of the prison was scorched by fire.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan says it's easy to believe God preserved that crucifix. He says inmates who were near the cross and prayed were spared.