Chimayo, New Mexico: The Shrine of Our Lord of Esquipulas & the Shrine of Santo Nino de Atocha
Here on the West slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains stands one of the most famous shrines in the American Southwest. Known as the “Lourdes of America” it is a place of pilgrimage and reported healings, drawing faithful not only from the area, but from all over the world.
There are actually two shrines here, the first being El Santuario de Chimayo, that has a crucifix of “Nuestro Senor de Esquipulas”. The wooden crucifix was un-earthed by a friar around 1810 and is now on the altar of the chapel. However the main attraction here, El Posito, a pit from which dirt is taken and from which miraculous cures have been attributed.
There is daily Mass offered as well as confessions and numerous special events scheduled throughout the year. Requests for the “holy dirt” are also honored.
Close by is the Shrine of Santa Nino de Atocha.
Originally this became a pilgrimage site for World War II soldiers that had survived the Bataan Death March. Many of these soldiers were from the New Mexico National Guard. By war’s end, only half of the 1,800 New Mexico National Guardsmen were still alive.
Those who returned talked about how they attributed their survival to their faith, and to the intercession of Santo Niño de Atocha. These servicemen began this tradition of pilgrimage in Easter 1944 in thanksgiving for their deliverance from the camp. It has grown over the years to include thousands of pilgrims each year.
Traveling to Chimayo, N.M.:
Address: 15 Santuario Dr, Chimayo, NM 87522
GPS coordinates: 35° 59′ 22.0560” N, 105° 55′ 54.0588” W
Tel: +1 (505) 351-9961
Click here for the official El Santuario de Chimayo website.