Part One: Santuario de Chimayo
Today we got a head start on the Chimayo Pilgrimage by driving rather than walking. I first heard about this Pilgrimage with a late night phone call from my daughter three years ago. She and her husband just happened to be on vacation in this area. They were driving the nearby interstate on Holy Thursday when they encountered thousands of people walking along the road making their way to the town of Chimayo by Good Friday. According to them the sheer size of the crowd was an impressive sight as they walked along the interstate with glow lights and being escorted by the State Patrol.
So fast forward to Monday March 30th. Never would I imagine to actually be here experiencing all this first hand during Holy Week.
For many this pilgrimage is an annual tradition, but for some it’s their first time. Everyone has their own reason for making this trek. Some reasons might include: spiritual strength, remembering loved ones who have died, to pray for a safe return of loved ones, or a plea for hope to recover from an illness.
An estimated 300,000 people are expected to visit the sanctuary throughout the year. During lent the church typically sees around 40,000 pilgrims.
Crutches and walkers left behind.