Breaking News Bar
posted: 3/30/2013 5:38 AM

Holy Week pilgrims head to N.M. shrine

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, N.M. is shown as volunteers prepare for Easter weekend. Around 50,000 pilgrims are expected to visit the shrine known as the "Lourdes of America."

      El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, N.M. is shown as volunteers prepare for Easter weekend. Around 50,000 pilgrims are expected to visit the shrine known as the "Lourdes of America."
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

CHIMAYO, N.M. -- Tens of thousands of pilgrims are expected during Easter Weekend to visit El Santuario de Chimayo, one of the most popular Catholic shrines in the Americas.

And this year, pilgrims are coming to this adobe chapel in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains under historic circumstances -- the "Lourdes of America" is now under the first pope from the Western Hemisphere.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Just two weeks after Pope Francis was elected, around 50,000 are expected to visit the popular northern New Mexico Catholic shrine, and officials say even more may come because of Argentine-born pontiff.

"We believe the new pope might contribute to even more people visiting," said Joanne Dupont Sandoval, secretary at the Chimayo parish. "We're already seeing people make trip in the early part of the week."

The former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who had spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, was elected pope earlier his month. As the first Jesuit pope, he was been credited with focusing on helping the poor and teaching and leading priests in Latin America.

Some pilgrims will make the 90-mile, three-day walk from Albuquerque to the shrine that houses "el pocito," a small pit of holy adobe-colored soil that some believe possesses curing powers.

Chimayo also is a National Historic Landmark, and some 200,000 people are estimated to visit each year, with the bulk occurring during Easter Week.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia announced this week that traffic patrols will increase through Sunday for safety as thousands of pilgrims walk along heavily used roads, such as NM 502 and 503 and U.S. 84-285.

Sheriff's deputies also will be assisted by New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe Police Department, Pojoaque Tribal Police Department, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to watch for drunken drivers.

Garcia said deputies will hand out 2,000 glow-in-the-dark sticks to walkers to make them more visible to motorists.

For two centuries, Hispanic and Native American pilgrims have made spiritual journeys to El Santuario de Chimayo and often carry photos of sick relatives and requests for miracles.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here