Pilgrims Seek Cure for Ailments in Church's Sacred Dirt

January 7, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On January 7, 2001, the Star Tribune reported on the Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico, which has begun to attract "the devout, and the merely curious" from all over the globe. Sometimes called the American Lourdes, a town in France which is known as a place of healing, this 200-year-old adobe church's dirt is considered sacred because it "was expressly built on land where a crucifix mysteriously appeared nearly 200 years ago." Within lies "a small, shallow pit called 'el posito,' or Little Healing Well." Pilgrims wait in lines for up to 30 minutes in order to take some of the dirt from this pit. Many believe "that touching this dirt, rubbing it on a wound or an affliction, could bring about a cure....The long room leading to the healing room is lined with old crutches and canes cast off by the cured, and its walls are covered with pictures, crosses, statues and handwritten testimonials and prayers of thanks." Local Lolo Medina explained the apparent healing power of the site: "It's about faith, that's what it is."