For over 200 years, Holy week in northern New Mexico marks a magical time when locals display their faith by walking to the Santuario de Chimayo for a pilgrimage on Good Friday. Walk amongst the faithful, praying, singing, rejoicing and meditating as we reflect on our lives, our loved ones and our path. Starting as early as noon on Holy Thursday, pilgrims begin their journey.
A pilgrimage is a journey of the body and soul. Regardless of our religion, it is an effort to become closer to our God. The Santuario de Chimayo pilgrimage is sometimes undertaken to pray for God’s intercession in our lives or as thanks for an intercession that has been granted. Often, a pilgrimage represents nothing more (or less) than our desire to let God guide our footsteps and nourish our souls. A pilgrimage should not be undertaken lightly but neither should it be undertaken in fear. It is intended to be a journey of joy and fulfillment.
A pilgrim is not a tourist who only touches, for a fleeting moment, the land and people that they visit. Rather, a pilgrim seeks to understand the essence of time, place and people that they meet on their path.
The churches of northern New Mexico have been both a beginning and destination for religious pilgrimages for hundreds of years. These churches are unique, humble and beautiful as are the people who built them and live their daily lives nestled among them. The journey to these churches will take you through an ancient land of rivers, trees and beautiful mountains that have, themselves, been the spiritual destination of ancient peoples long before the churches existed.
Please be mindful of all pilgrims on the road to Chimayo. Keep your lights and focus on the narrow road because there are a lot of people walking over night and all of Good Friday morning and continues through the weekend leading up to Easter morning.