Santuario de Chimayo

The Drama is in the Details

It's just a tiny, unincorporated community, but  Chimayo, NM, is famous for three reasons: The Chimayo peppers that grow there and are often sold as ristras--clusters of large, red chiles that you see hanging from portals. The Ortega and Trujillo families, who are widely known for the quality of their weaving, which is done in the Spanish Colonial tradition. And the Santuario de Chimayo, a small church built by a private individual in 1816, which is currently managed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The church is thought to be a special place of healing, and more than 30,000 individuals seek out the dirt in a tiny back room when they go on a pilgrimage to the church each year during Holy Week. 

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Though small and rustic, the church has an elaborate altar, and just inside the door of the sanctuary is a stunning carved statue of Jesus. To me, the bound hands and scarred arms told the story. It was one of those cases in which showing less conveyed more.

New Mexico Photos

New Mexico ranks among my favorite places to visit. That has to do, at least in part, with the fact that my mom grew up there. I have roots, of sorts, in that dry soil. I try to visit often, but it's never as often as I'd like. I was sorting through some of my more recent New Mexico photos today and thought I'd share a few. You can also see images in subsequent and previous posts.

This first batch is from the Santuario de Chimayo, a beautiful little church built between 1814 and 1816 in the town of Chimayo, just north of Santa Fe. It is owned by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and is visited by more than 300,000 each year--many of them on pilgrimage seeking spiritual and physical healing. The church is said to be built on soil that has remarkable curative powers.

All photos ©2008 Lee Anne White.