...We checked out of the Homewood Suites Wednesday morning and loaded up the car. We would be doing a 270-mile drive to begin the next leg of our vacation in Durango, Colorado. Our itinerary called for a stop in the town of Chimayo, New Mexico along the way.
Chimayo is a small town seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It receives many thousands of visitors each year because of the El Santuario de Chimayo Church. This quaint Spanish-style catholic church is known for its healing power. It turns out this remote church was closer than I thought. We arrived there within 20 minutes of leaving the Homewood Suites.
Traci and I took a look inside the dark, rustic sanctuary but did not linger. The 11 AM mass was going to begin soon. Worshippers had already arrived and were praying the rosary aloud.
The mystery that has made El Santuario de Chimayo legendary occurred at the site of the small chapel attached to the side of the church. A crucifix was dug up by a friar in the early 1800's after he saw light coming from a hillside. The crucifix was taken 6 miles away to Santa Cruz, NM. However, the cross disappeared and was found again in the same pit in Chimayo. After the third time the cross disappeared from Santa Cruz and reappeared in Chimayo, it was decided to leave it in Chimayo. A small chapel was built on this holy ground. Soon after, people began to tell stories of the miraculous healing they received from visiting the chapel. A larger shrine had to be built in 1816 as more and more people came to the site hoping to be healed.
The original 6-foot crucifix can still be seen on the altar of the main sanctuary, but it is the miraculous healing powers of the dirt pit in the chapel attached to the church that draws visitors. More...