Over the years I have learned the importance of being quiet and listening. It is during this time that I open my heart and soul to new life experiences.
It is due to my personal quest to find tranquility in my life that I came upon a book that changed my life forever - a book by Melody Beattie entitled “Journey to the Heart”. This book is still offered on Amazon.Com and I highly recommend it.
In the book it takes us on her personal journey as she travels to find peace and tranquility in her life.
Because of her writings I felt a deep hunger to enter into my own journey to the heart. It was during this time that I felt myself drawn to places that would awaken my spirituality and allow me to see the beauty that surrounds us all - much like the words written by Melody about in her book. I knew that my heart was speaking to me and I was being led to find the inspiration for my journey. The hunger to travel to the many places was a constant in my life. I knew that I would forever regret it if I did not follow my heart on this journey.
After reading Melody’s writings about a legendary mission - EL Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico it became abundantly clear that this was known as the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the U.S. I am not a Catholic but the tug of the history of the special healing powers of this sacred place touched me like nothing I have ever felt before. Why is this place so special you ask? Well this mission is said to hold sacred healing powers and each year 30,000 people from all over the world make pilgrimages to this site especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
Legend states that a friar was watching his sheep and contemplating his blessings even though he was very ill. A vision of the Patron Saint – San Esquipula beckoned to him and the friar knelt on the spot to pray. The friar was healed immediately and as a way of showing his gratitude and thanks he built the chapel so others could be healed too. It is said that the dirt on this spot is blessed by God and holds great healing powers. Many have traveled to this spot to for a hope to be healed of what ails them.
I knew that I wanted to experience this inspirational place myself on my own personal journey much like Melody's journey. I soon I found myself in Sante Fe and plans began to take place to continue my journey to El Santuario de Chimayo located which is just 30 miles north of Santa Fe. Upon finally discovering the turn to Chimayo (it is miles off the main road) I reached the end of the road where the adobe mission proudly stood. I felt like I was walking back in time. I proceeded to walk through the walled courtyard and into the old mission. I was in awe of the glorious elegant doors which I soon discovered were carved by the 19th-century carpenter Pedro Dominguez. Upon entering the mission I immediately felt the comfort and the spiritual beckoning of this simple chapel.
After entering the main room, I walked to the small room in the back (called el pocito) where in a round pit (well) the “holy” dirt can be found. There were several people there kneeling and actually placing some of the dirt in their own containers to keep for future blessings. The one thing that I noticed when I looked around this room was the number and sizes of crutches that were left behind on the walls. It was apparent that many entered this quiet, simple room with the hopes and belief that they would be healed. When they left – they no longer required their crutches and left them behind.
I hope to someday return to El Santuario de Chimayo as I continue to crave the peacefulness that overtook my heart and soul while there.
Here is withing you a wonderful journey in your life!