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El Santuario de Chimayo is located in Northern New Mexico in a small town noted for its weavings and red chile. Founded many years ago, it is famous for "holy dirt" that brings about miraculous cures and the crucifix of Senor de Los Esquipulas carved from a wood unknown in NM. Annually during Holy Week thousands of pilgrims come from all parts of the world and all over NM usually walking from 10-60 miles, some carrying heavy crosses. Santo Nino de Atocha (Jesus as a child) resides in this church.


Maria Martinez, the famous potter from San Ildefonso Pueblo was brought to the Santo Nino Santuario in 1890
by her mom when she was very ill. Her mom had made a promesa (vow) that if Maria recovered she would make a pilgrimage to the Holy Place of Chimayo. Little Maria rubbed herself all over with the sacred earth while her mom offered prayers to the Holy Child.


Many villagers believed that the Santo Nino image was found in the hole where the sacred earth is found.
A story was told about a man, along with his young daughter, plowing his fields with oxen. She heard church bells ringing in the ground and begged her father to dig them out. He discovered the bells and a wooden statue of Santo Nino De Atocha. Many miraclous cures have been attributed to the Santo Nino. It is believed that Santo Nino travels throughout the country at night wearing out his shoes while performing miracles. Pilgrims frequently bring little pairs of baby shoes to place at the feet of Santo Nino as offerings to replace those he has worn out during his nightly travels. Local villagers sometimes call him Santo Nino Perdido because he is absent from the church at night.


Next door to the Santuario, another church was built around 1850 dedicated to Santo Nino de Atocha. Both churches are open daily where thousands of pilgrims come to give Thanks, pray for healings and leave mementos. The walls of the Santuario are filled with crutches, poems and stories, pictures of loved ones, santos & statues of the saints, our Blessed Mother, and Jesus Christ. Many candles burn brightly as an offering from the pilgrims to remind us that God hears and answers prayers. The candles also reminds us
of the deep faith and devotion to God of all the thousands of pilgrims who come great distances with many hardships to keep their promesa (vow).


When my daughter served in Desert Storm I too made a promise that we would walk to Chimayo from the National Cemetery in Santa Fe when she returned unharmed. Along with a friend, we walked almost 25 miles taking almost 8 hours three years later. When my grandson was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3, we made a trip to Santuario and he was given a special blessing by the priest. He was told because of the chemo that he would never have children. Today, he is a healthy 21 year old with two young daughters.


Email for additonal information. Another story of Santo Nino de Atocha can be located at the link below. Be sure and visit this page to learn more about Santo Nino.


* Santo Nino de Atocha Legend

* El Santuario De Chimayo

* My Saint Pages

* My Second Saint Pages-Links to more saints

* Junebug's Novena Page-Links to Saint Prayers

* Mary, the Mother of Jesus

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Dedicated to all pilgrims that Santo Nino may grant their petitions and accept their offerings.

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This page was last updated Sun Jan 13 21:11:48 2002 Pacific time

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