TOMÉ, NM (KRQE) – On this Good Friday, thousands have made the trek to sacred sites like El Santuario de Chimayo and Tome Hill in Valencia County.
It’s a long-standing Good Friday tradition. Many come from miles around to pray and reflect at El Santuario De Chimayo.
The small church was built on a site where many believe a miracle happened, some also say the soil there has healing powers.
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It’s one of the reasons why thousands flock to the site every year. While many make the pilgrimage to Chimayo, others make the two-mile trek to the top of Tome Hill. Some say they’ve experienced miracles of healing when they reached the top. It’s a tradition that began years ago with the Penitentes, who made the pilgrimage to make penance.
“You get your heart racing when you walk up there,” says Belen resident Angie Poss.
Drew Prestridge said he’s heard about the tradition and thought it was a good way to start his Easter weekend.
“I was a little out of breath going up a little bit but once you got there, the views are awesome, the shrine with the crosses, everybody up there praying and kind of gathering, it’s a cool sight to see,” explains Prestridge.
Others have made the trek many times before, as a symbol of their faith and an opportunity to reflect and pray. People like Ray Torres said they do it for those who can’t make the trip. This year he’s dedicated his hike to the top of Tome to his father, his wife and his sister.
“They’re all ill. My dad has cancer and my wife’s been sick and my sister has Lupus,” said Torres.
Once pilgrims reach the top, they’re greeted by three crosses, some even carry their own. While it’s not an easy trip to the top, those who make it say it’s well worth it.
“It’s been good. We’re a little bit tired but it’s been a good walk,” Torres says.
The Chimayo Pilgrimage recently gained national attention when the Washington Post focused on the walk.
A reporter published her first hand experience, describing how the healing powers of the holy dirt healed her achy knees.
A 13-year-old Albuquerque boy did suffer minor injuries along the route to Chimayo, Friday, after he crossed the road and was hit by an SUV driving about 10mph.
He was taken to Christus Saint Vincent Hospital for a leg injury.
The SUV driver has not been cited.