El Santuario de Chimayó

Christian Site in Chimayó

Often called the Lourdes of America, the chapel was built in 1816, over a spot of earth said to have miraculous healing properties. The faithful come to rub the tierra bendita – holy dirt – from a small pit inside the church on whatever hurts; some mix it with water and drink it. The walls of the dirt room are covered with milagros, small tokens left by those who have been healed.

During Holy Week, around 30,000 pilgrims walk to Chimayó from Santa Fe, Albuquerque and beyond in the largest Catholic pilgrimage in the US, and the church now stands at the center of an ever-growing complex of gift shops, visitor centers and riverside gardens.