Saturday, September 27, 2008

My pilgrimage

El Santuario de Chimayó is a Roman Catholic church in Chimayó, New Mexico. Revered to be a place where believers can find healing, the shrine has a room where visitors can scoop up some Chimayó dirt to take with them: applied to the area of the body which needs healing, the dirt is said to have miraculous properties.

Soon after I was healed from salmonella and the accompanying complications in August, I knew I wanted to make my own pilgimage to the shrine at Chimayó: not to gather dirt for healing, but to thank God for saving my life and giving me more time for the future, and to give thanks for all the prayers I had from family and friends which saw me through this illness.

It was a very beautiful day to visit Chimayó. We wandered all over the grounds of the church property. They have made some really nice upgrades to make it better for visitors. But inside the little church it remains the same as always, timeless, stepping back into 1816, when the present church was built.

I was not prepared for the rush of emotions I would feel sitting there and talking to God. To be given a miracle, and know that my life here on earth is because of God’s mercy, is humbling, and a reason to rejoice.

Our visit to Chimayó included a couple of other stops in addition to the santuario. We ate burritos and tamales at Leona's Restaurant, where they have been serving up great food for many years, and we stopped at Ortega's Gift Shop, where we bought a lot of gifts for family members. It was just a wonderful day.


Jenny said...

Looks very peaceful. Is this where they have that big pilgramage every year? In the spring I think.

Towanda said...

Yes, it's on Good Friday every year.

Anonymous said...

Tow, Chimayo was one of my favorite places when I was in Santa Fe a while back. It was SO peaceful and the power of God's presence there was amazing. I am not quite ready to claim that the dirt is special, but the sanctuary itself certainly is...And the upgrades on the outside look like much needed major improvements.

Hopefully, I will get back there again.


Towanda said...

Rev - I want you to know that while I was sitting in the church communing with God, I prayed for your complete healing, too, my friend. :)

Buck said...

A great and thoughtful post, Sharon... with most-excellent photos, too. I'll have to add Chimayó to my "must-see" list of places to go.

Bag Blog said...

Chimayo is beautiful. I often picture that area (and maybe Truches) as the setting for "Red Sky at Morning."

Rain said...

How beautiful. I have been to some of New Mexico but hadn't gone to that sanctuary. I definitely will if I go again. I find some of that same peace and the feeling of miracles at San Xavier del Bac in Tucson.