Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sanctuario de Chimayo (Church with holy dirt)

I got the holy dirt I wanted.
I was a little bit off on the story of its origin. No water involved (blame the FIL for the inaccuracy), it was a crucifix glowing under ground that was found and removed around the year 1810. 3 times it was removed from it's hole and brought to a church. 3 times it disappeared and was found back in the hole. So, folks decided there must be a good reason and built a small chapel on the site.

This is one of the many shrines where people hang their rosaries, light candles and tuck important items into. There are baby bibs hanging among the rosaries.
The dirt is considered holy by followers and can be scooped out from a hole in the floor by the chapel. There are canes and crutches lining the walls from people who no longer need them, and pictures of children laying about on shelves or pinned to the wall without explanation. Despite this being a Catholic Archdiocese owned area, there is no fee for any of it, which gives it greater credibility in my mind (being a recovering Catholic that is). Here is the official website from the church
They do not allow pictures everywhere. This is the hallway to the chapel and private room where the hole is.

I am not a super religious person. One time my sister and I went to attend a wedding rehearsal in a church when we were teenagers, and lightning actually did strike. Well that is what it looked like anyway. Turns out at night cars driving by with their headlights on reflected in a series of windows that from just the right (or wrong!) angle looked like an explosion of light. Freaked us out!
Here are my girls digging out their own dirt from the hole to put in little cups I got from our hotel. Although rumor has it the dirt can be bought, it is also rumored to lose its power that way. I certainly would not trust it!

Genea on the left, Teena on the right. My hope for Genea is that she will gain peace inside so we can leave the pharmaceuticals behind. My hope for Teena is that she will not suffer from well, from anything. I bought them little urns that we can put the dirt in at home and I will hang them over their beds. I have about a half cup extra for each kid in case of emergency, which sounds like a lot but seems to be the amount recommended.

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