Santuario de Chimayó , Santo Niño de Atocha

Evangeline Chavez 2012

Christmas  in Chimayo, New Mexico

The Santuario Church is located in Chimayó New Mexico.You enter the church through a walled courtyard,  built of adobe with a bell tower on each side of the church The bell tower is 60 feet long and 24 feet  wide with walls more than 3 feet  thick. The towers have pointed caps  and a metal pitched roof (blocking the clerestory ) which were added  in the 1920’s. The “elegant” doors were carved in the 19th-century by  carpenter Pedro Domínguez. An unusual feature is two side-by-side rooms at the entrance forming a vestibule ornarthex ,the rooms were  once used for storage.  The nave contains a crucifix by the santero “Molleno”  representinga a 6 ft Christ like figure. Other notable folk-art decorations include five reredoses  and a small sculpture of  St. James the Great. A small room called el pocito  (the little well) contains a round pit, the source of “holy dirt” (tierra bendita) that is believed to have healing powers. An adjacent Prayer Room displays  many  photographs, discarded crutches, and other testimonials of those purportedly healed. Each year some 30,000 people from all over the world make pilgrimages to the Santuario de Chimayó during Holy Week,  some seeking blessings and some in fulfillment of a vow.

Next to the Santuario is the church of Santo Niño de Atocha . During World War II, many New Mexicans suffered through the siege of Corregidor, the Bataan Death March, and internment in Japanese prison camps. They prayed to the Santo Niño, and upon their return, some 2,000 made a pilgrimage to the Santuario—some walking barefoot—to give thanks for their lives.

~ by Evangeline Art Photography on January 2, 2012.

4 Responses to “Santuario de Chimayó , Santo Niño de Atocha”

  1. I spent a little time in Chimayó in the early 1970s, but I never saw it illuminated as nicely as you portray it here.

    Steve Schwartzman

    • Thank you, during Christmas they light up the church with luminaries and lights. It is a tradition we have in New Mexico to decorate during the holiday season.

  2. Gorgeous photos of Chimayo! 🙂

    • I always visit Chimayo during Christmas and each time I come back with the true meaning of Christmas, love, faith, and hope.

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