We had our trip planned out, mostly. We had room for detours and all those things along the way that might capture our attention. Early one morning, during a rock climbing expedition, I was chatting with another family and they mentioned that we should visit El Santuario de Chimayo. I wasn't familiar, but after their description I knew I had to pay it a visit.
After I finished watching my children dangle from precariously high positions, (don't all parents like to see that?), I found our afternoon's destination and I wasn't disappointed.
What began as a small chapel in 1810 is now a church that is visited annually by an estimated 30,000 visitors from all over the world, most of them coming during Holy Week. Pilgrims come in fulfillment of a vow, some seek blessings, and the church is also known as a place of healing and miracles.
Though the Catholic Church takes no stance on whether miracles have happened here, it was clear that this is a sacred place.
I encountered many visitors in prayer and my trip inside the church was especially moving. People were praying at the altar and in the pews. Many people were very emotional and took the time to gather some, "holy dirt", from the well inside the church. This dirt is said to have healing powers and crutches, canes, walkers, notes of thanks, and many other articles, were left inside the prayer room. Written testimonials were also left in the prayer room.
Prayers requests are left in the Priest's office and there are many places throughout the church grounds where prayers requests have been left.
The grounds are very beautiful with views of the mountains.
Photography was not permitted inside the church, but you can see official photos here, as well as ready more about the church's history.
"As my mind can conceive of more good, the barriers and blocks dissolve. My life becomes full of little miracles popping up out of the blue."
Louise L. Hay