STM PILGRIMAGE TO CHIMAYO
Day 1 – San Luis Valley and Taos (San Luis Stations, CO and Ranchos de Taos, NM)
Day 2 – Santa Cruz, Chimayo and Santa Fe (Santa Cruz de la Cañada, Chapel of Santa Niño de Atocha, Our Lord of Esquipulas Chapel, El Pocito “holy dirt”)
Day 3 – Santa Fe (St. Francis, Loretto Chapel, Saint Miguel Chapel)
Day 4 – Santa Fe (Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe)
Please register by Friday, July 16. Contact Irene Lindemer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.221.9181 for questions.
*No transportation will be provided. Carpooling encouraged. Individuals will make all travel and hotel arrangements individually. A complimentary farewell dinner will be held on our last evening together in Santa Fe.
Suggested Hotel Options
Taos, NM (One night, Sunday, August 1)
- Sagebrush Inn, 1508 Paseo Del Pueblo (Guest rooms starting at $119. Rooms can accommodate up to 5 per room with a $10 rental of a rollaway bed)
- Hampton Inn, 1515 Paseo Del Pueblo (Guest rooms starting at $113. Rooms can accommodate up to 4 per room)
Santa Fe, NM (Two nights, Monday–Tuesday, August 2-3)
- Old Santa Fe Inn, 201 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe (Rooms starting at $236 per room. Rooms can accommodate 4)
- Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza, 100 Sandoval St, downtown Santa Fe. (Rooms starting at $190 per room. Rooms can accommodate 4)
Day 1: San Luis Stations, Taos Pueblo or Ranchos de Taos
Depart STM at 8:30–9:00am. Drive 3.5 hours to San Luis. San Luis Stations and Shrine to the Mexican Martyrs. The Shrine of the Stations of the Cross was built as an act of faith and love for the parishioners of the Sangre de Cristo Parish by artist Huberto Maestas. These nearly life-sized sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross were so moving that the Vatican in Rome owns a miniature collection. At the top is a grotto to the Virgin Mary, a white stucco Mexican-style chapel and a shrine to the 25 Mexican saints and martyrs who were executed for continuing to practice Catholicism after the 1920s revolution. Private Mass at the All Saints Chapel on top of the hill. Eat sack lunch at 12:30pm. Then depart to Taos, NM.
We will travel one hour to San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos, NM, built over 200 years ago. This church has been photographed by famous artists Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe. Inside the Parish Hall resides 18th Century oil painting “The Shadow of the Cross by Henri Ault,” aka “The Mystery Painting.” It used to hang inside the church, and when the lights went dark the painting would mysteriously glow. To preserve its physical integrity The Mystery Painting is housed in a controlled environment. However, it can be personally experienced (in the dark) for a fee of $3.00 per person. Depart at 4:00pm. Dinner on our own. Overnight in Taos.
Day 2: Santa Cruz de la Cañada, Chimayo
Drive one hour to church of Santa Cruz de la Cañada. The present church of Santa Cruz de la Cañada was built in 1733 making it one of the oldest surviving churches in the United States. There are two side chapels, one in each of the church transepts. The north chapel is dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Carmen (Our Lady of Mount Carmel). The south chapel is dedicated to San Francisco de Asis. It is sometimes called the Chapel of the Penitentes. This is a popular pilgrimage because it is along the route taken by don Bernardo Abeyta and his neighbors after they found the cross, Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas, in the tiny community of El Potrero (Chimayo) in 1810 and brought it to the church of Santa Cruz de la Cañada. Then we travel to Chimayo, and eat lunch at Rancho de Chimayo, a restaurant that serves traditional New Mexican food. The restaurant is an adobe home that the owners turned into a restaurant in 1965.
Following lunch, we begin our exploration of Chimayo. Our first visit is to the Chapel of Santa Niño de Atocha (the patron saint of peregrinos), The devotion to el Santo Niño reached New Mexico in 1857 when a prominent member of the tiny village of El Potrero, became ill and promised that, if he recovered, he would complete a pilgrimage to Plateros and build the shrine of Santo Niño de Atocha.
By 1941, many of the New Mexico National Guardsmen were familiar with the story of Santo Niño. Stationed in the Philippines at the outset of WWII, many lost their lives to the “Bataan Death March”, and for those who survived they attributed their survival to their faith and to the intercession of Santo Niño de Atocha. By the late 1940s some of the surviving soldiers and their families, began what has become the annual Easter pilgrimage to Chimayo as a means of expressing their profound gratitude to Santo Niño. Inside a small room adjoining the main chapel is a wooden statue of Santo Niño. Filling shelves resting against the adobe walls are pairs of children’s shoes left by the pilgrims. They are intended for the Holy Child so that he may have new shoes as he travels on his journey to provide comfort to those in need. It is here where we will celebrate a private Mass.
Next, we visit Our Lord of Esquipulas Chapel, El Pocio (holy dirt), and Museum of Chimayo. On the night of Good Friday, don Bernardo Abeyta saw a light springing from one of the slopes of the hills near the Santa Cruz river. He went to the spot and found a crucifix. He left it there and called the neighbors to come and venerate the finding. A group of men was sent to Santa Cruz to notify the priest. Upon hearing the news, the priest and people set out for Chimayo. When they arrived at the place where the Crucifix was, Fr. Sebastian picked it up and carried it in a procession back to the parish church. Once in the church, the Crucifix was placed in the niche of the main altar. The next morning, the Crucifix was gone, only to be found in its original location. Therefore, a small chapel was built. The Church was a privately owned chapel until 1929. At that time, several people from Santa Fe bought it from the Chavez family and turned it over to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Nearly all who come to El Santuario visit “el Pocito” which is in a small sideroom off to the side of the altar. Even the door to this room is small and most who enter must stoop. You must kneel to reach and scoop out the “tierra bendita” (sacred earth) which is in hole in the stone floor. El Santuario was built on the site where the crucifix of Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas was found buried in the soil by don Bernardo Abeyta. As you leave el pocito and proceed along the narrow, dimly lit room that leads to the side exit of El Santuario you pass a wall of crutches, walkers, crosses and crucifixes which hang on or lay against the rock and dirt wall. Everywhere there are notes of prayer, requests for blessings or thanks offered for the intercession of God. These are written on small scraps of paper, rolled up and tucked into crevices, or posted on the walls along with pictures of loved one, living and dead.
Monsignor Tom will celebrate Mass outside in the afternoon for the group. After a long day, we travel 30 minutes to Santa Fe and enjoy dinner on our own. Hotel overnight in Santa Fe.
Day 3: St. Francis, Loretto Chapel, Saint Miguel Chapel
Visit Basilica of St. Francis for Mass. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of Santa Fe. The Basilica was built in 1887 on the same site as the first church of New Mexico. Since 1610, this church has been rebuilt three times. It is well known for its Romanesque architecture. We will attend Mass together at noon.
Then we will walk to Loretto Chapel to see the miraculous staircase. When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Legend says that the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. He built what is now known as the Miraculous Staircase with simple tools and wooden pegs. The rare wood is not native to the American Southwest. When the Staircase was complete, it is said that the carpenter disappeared without receiving thanks or payment. The Sisters tried all local lumber stores but could not find accounts open for supplies for their stairs. Some believe the carpenter was St. Joseph himself while others believe that it was someone sent by St. Joseph. The chapel is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is $3.
We will enjoy some lunch at a local restaurant on our own.
Finally, we will walk to The San Miguel Chapel, which is presumed to be the oldest church in the U.S., dating back to at least 1628. In its early years, the church served a small group of Tlaxcalan Indians, laborers, and Spanish soldiers who lived in this area on the south side of the Santa Fe River. The original dirt floor and sanctuary steps can be seen through a pane of glass just beyond the Communion rail. There is an old bell in the chapel dating back to 1356. The story goes that Christians were losing their fight against the Moors, until they vowed to craft a bell dedicated to Saint Joseph. Everybody relinquished their gold and silver-plated jewelry, which was all melted down to make the three-inch thick bell. Best of all, visitors can hit the old bell with a mallet! It does make a sweet sound. You can also look down through panes of glass in the sanctuary floor and see old adobe steps from the 1600s. Admission is one dollar.
Afternoon for independent exploration, perhaps take in a cultural activity like blanket weaving.
Farewell dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Santa Fe.
Day 4: Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe
Visit Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe for Mass at 9:00am followed by a private tour.
The Santuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe, built in 1777, is the oldest, still-standing shrine built in honor of Our Lady in the United States. There is a walking path featuring six tile mosaics, illustrating the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego. There is also a prayer station at the statue of Saint Bernadette. As you enter the sanctuary you will see a rose garden with flowers from the Holy Lands. Visit gift shop where pilgrims can purchase souvenirs.
Return home – 5.5 hour drive.