Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 22








We took a loop drive to some of the nearby historic adobe Catholic churches. We drove by the Picuris Pueblo church and then drove through Las Trampas and went in the Church of San Jose de Gracia built in 1760. We found out that the church is rarely open so we were lucky to see it. They allowed non-flash pictures inside the church for a donation. Then we drove to Chimayo and saw the famous Santuario de Chimayo built in 1816. They did not allow pictures to be taken inside the church. This used to be a sleepy little church with a dirt parking lot and very little landscaping (we had been here years before). Now the place has a paved plaza with landscaping, gift shops, restaurants, grottoes, stone arches, and two parking lots. In one of the church's chapels is a hole in the floor which contains holy dirt which is reputed to have healing powers. The gift shops sell containers for people to put the dirt into so they can take it home. The ante room of the chapel contains prayers, pictures, and objects (like crutches) left by healed people. The church is called the "Lourdes of the West".

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