Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Replenishing the Miracle Dirt

Rev. Casimiro Roca in the sanctuary of the Santuario de Chimayo in northern New Mexico.

Legend has it that the dirt is holy and can cure whatever is wrong with you. Given the reputation of the small chapel in Chimayo, New Mexico, who can blame me a few years back as I looked around the room with its hundreds of discarded crutches hanging on the walls and knelt at the hole in ground? I scooped up some of the miracle dirt, ate a little bit and rubbed the rest on my hands and arms as if I were washing them.

I have no way of knowing how many ailments the reddish dirt has cured in me. Perhaps I am alive today because of it. Perhaps it was just dirt and did nothing. Whatever the case, the situation at the Santuario de Chimayo speaks volumes about miracles.

The New York Times recently revealed that visitors to the little chapel each year abscond with so much of the holy dirt that it must be regularly replenished. The visitors bring their own baggies or they purchase bags of “blessed dirt” in the chapel’s gift shop. They eat it, brew tea from it, make a muddy ointment from it or just rub it on their bodies to invoke its healing power.

“It’s not the dirt that makes the miracles!” an exasperated Rev. Casimiro Roca told the Times reporter. “I always tell people I have no faith in the dirt. I have faith in the Lord. But people can believe what they want.”

Father Roca, having spent 50 years at the chapel, pointed to a small nearby outbuilding. “I even have to buy clean dirt,” he said. He stores the dirt in the building until it’s time to replace the dirt in the hole inside the chapel.

This all got started on Good Friday in 1810 when a group of penitents practicing a secret ritual spotted a light shining upward from the valley below, in an area considered sacred by the Pueblo Indians. There they found a half-buried wooden crucifix and carried it off to the church in Santa Cruz, 10 miles away. But the next morning, the mysterious cross was back in its hole in the ground. Three times the cross was carried to Santa Cruz and three times it enigmatically returned to the original hole. The priest from Santa Cruz built a chapel around the hole and word spread that the dirt could heal the lame and the blind.

Now, each Good Friday several thousand pilgrims walk several miles in a procession to the Santuario de Chimayo, some carrying heavy crosses, some crawling eight or so miles on their knees. And throughout the rest of the year, thousands more visit the chapel known as the Lourdes of America.


karenk said...

Greg -- thanks for sharing your story about El Santuario. It's a place that says a lot about faith, doesn't it?

Christine LeFever said...

I remember that visit, but had no idea you ate any of the dirt! It's as the kindly priest says, it's not the dirt, but I disagree on the concept that it's "the Lord". I believe it's one's self as a part of the Almighty I Am, hence the God within one.


Anonymous said...

The saddest thing in life has been those who have no belief beyond their "EGO" self..."ease God out"...the hardest thing in life has been that "Holy Spirit Messages" may be have been conveyed to some who continue to deny what they receive or have received from the "Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost" and how it has not only guided them and their families through trauma to peace, but also has given them clear guidance towards wholeness in their health and to the health of their loved ones. It's very sad when this continues, sadder still when those who receive blessings that can only be from a Force beyond what is their very limited knowledge or perceived power, that they will publicly avoid or stay silent about what blessings they have received from GOD ALONE. Only when it is their time and they cease to breath the breath of life will they have the great "Ah ha! Ohhhhh!" moment...then they will know "In my Father's house there are many mansions"...then also their soul will know what it knew before it came into the physical. There will be soul consequences. Sad that some who comment on your blog are so angry and need to comment in a negative and angry biased way against any belief based in love and hope.
Narrow in their own right, left, right?! Your blog seems to strive to include all, now that you have allowed Bible scripture into it.
Isn't that the way of it, that a conscious acknowledgment to ONENESS once again has to undergo an onslaught by someone else's angry and verbally spiteful comments?!

Anonymous said...

If you have faith, you can move mountains. The faith
in our one true God is what heals.

We are NOT God but we ARE God's children.

Thank you for sharing this miraculous story.
Faith can cure us , God has told us that.

Anonymous said...

If you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains...

Anonymous said...

Jumping into the black hole of anonymous commenting, some questions about dirt: Is this dirt being put on or into a vortex (as in Sedona vortices)? Are there any ley-lines (as in Hawaii) where El Santuario is? What is the content of quartz crystal in this area (as in quartz crystal that makes watches work)? Is there any blockage of cell phone transmission/reception there that is attributed to certain types of rock mountains? When have children or animals been known to eat dirt? What did the dirt supply to their body that they craved? Look through dirt (pottery) as it is cooked (fired) at the high temps, it becomes see through, literally translucent and liquid only to become solid when it again cools. Why can a certain pitch of a high quality crystal glass shatter objects? And last but not least, why did Jesus the Christed healer use mud to heal at one time and prayer in others? Does matter matter?