Chimayo Santuario Review – Spiritual Connection To The Past!
Nestled in the hills and making for a tranquil and reflective day trip from Santa Fe is the adobe church known as El Santuario de Chimayo, or simply Chimayo Santuario. Not only is this the site of annual pilgrimages that see more than 300,000 people journey to the area each year, but it is also a National Historic Landmark, thought to have healing powers as well as being a place for the faithful to give thanks.
The Chimayo Santuario has been part of the culture and tradition in New Mexico for generations, and dates back hundreds of years to when the crucifix of Nuestro Senor de Esquipulas occurred on a pit of holy dirt. Close by is the shrine of Santa Nino de Atocha, originally built in 1856, and today the site of the annual Easter Pilgrimage attended by so many.
People from all walks of life and across all religious backgrounds travel to the church as a significant place to visit in New Mexico; they come looking for spiritual and physical healing, said to be found in the holy dirt in and around the structure. Visitors to the room called el Pocito will find a tiny candlelit area with a tiny door and a hole in the stone floor, the home of the dirt that so many collect and take with them for either themselves or sick loved ones back home. While the believers claim the dirt helps heal the sick, the church itself makes no miraculous claims, but instead writes of the joys of the believers and those who have had their faith restored.
Near the el Pocito is the prayer room, home to abandoned wheelchairs and crutches left behind by the cured faithful along with notes of thanksgiving, blessings received and blessings still asked for left by others from around the world. Visitors to the spiritual site of Chimayo Santuario are also treated to spectacular retablos, paintings artfully depicted on wood and tin that adorns the walls, and bultos, wooden sculptures of saints and other religious figures that take their place amid the other artifacts.
Chimayo Santuario is of course also a place of worship and somewhere the faithful gather to give thanks, but you don’t have to be a religious person to take in the significance and beauty of the site. The surrounding hillsides as well as the cultural and historical aspects to the site make it one of the top things to do and is enshrined in many New Mexico travel guides. While some of the thousands of visitors to the site each year walk there as their ancestors did before them, you can also arrive by car. Be sure to set some time aside and take in the galleries and shops that line the road leading to the church, some of which have souvenirs of the site for sale.
The site of Chimayo Santuario is located a half hour outside Santa Fe and Santa Fe vacation rentals that abound, and about ninety miles outside of Albuquerque, making it an easy day trip from either.