Photographer's Note

This is small chapel is named "El Santuario de Chimayo" and sometimes referred to as the "Lourdes of America" because of the pilgrimage thousands of devout believers make to it every year.

The legend goes that a crucifix was found on this spot buried in the sandy soil. It was dug out and carried to the local church and set on the altar. The next morning it was gone, but later found in the same exact spot where it was originally found. Once again the local priest and some townspeople made a procession to carry it back to the church -- this time adding guards outside of the church doors. However, the next morning the same thing occurred and the crucifix was once again found buried in the sandy soil. The same happenned one last time until the priest recognized that the crucifix must stay where it was found and a chapel was built in that spot.

Many years later, it was discovered that the soil had healing powers which only increased the fame of the little chapel.

Today, people come to see the "cristo de palo" crucifix (also known as the Cristo de Esquipulas) and to take some of the soil available through a small hole on the chapel floor.

The Santuario de Chimayo was built in 1816 out of adobe brick and timber vigas. It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark and is located along the "High Road to Taos" in the town of Chimayo, New Mexico (north of Santa Fe and east of Española).

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Additional Photos by JC Ramos (jramos) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 26 N: 141] (507)
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