March 14, 2013
The Sancturio de Chimayo is a historic mission church
in the mountains of northern New Mexico
in between Taos and Santa Fe.
After a miraculous occurrence at this location around 1813,
Bernardo Abeyta requested to build a chapel.
The current chapel was erected in 1816.
In 1929, it was purchased from the Abeyta family
by private citizens and turned over to the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Photographs are no longer allowed inside,
but the old, adobe chapel is heavily adorned
with regional folk art style painting of the saints.
A room to the side has a hole that always contains "holy dirt".
Visitors as well as the faithful are invited to take a pinch of the
dirt as they pray for miracles of healing,
which appear to be well documented by the collection
of crutches, photographs and rosaries left along the wall.
Every Easter weekend, devoted families and individuals
walk many miles along the highway to the Sanctuario.
They bring their prayers and faith for healing,
and to give thanks for what God has given.
Once they arrive,
they wait in long lines to enter the chapel.
Family members waiting with cars
drive them home after their long walk.
For local Catholics and visitors to the chapel of miracles
and healing, Chimayo is both a historic treasure
and a revered place of spiritual mystery and faith.