'Holy dirt' in the hills of New Mexico
April 22nd, 2011
12:01 AM ET

'Holy dirt' in the hills of New Mexico

By William Walker, CNN

Chimayo, New Mexico (CNN) - El Santuario de Chimayo, the Roman Catholic adobe mission church set in these hills of northern New Mexico, dates from 1816.

Here, on Good Friday night around 1810, a Chimayo friar reportedly found a miraculous crucifix glowing on the ground near the Santa Cruz River. The church is built on the site of the reported discovery.

During Holy Week - culminating on Good Friday - thousands of pilgrims converge on Chimayo. Some pilgrims walk a few yards, others a hundred miles or more.

Many pilgrims believe that sacred earth from the shrine possesses miraculous healing powers. Testimonies of healing powers at Chimayo date to 1813, when Father Sebastian Alvarez wrote of cures for ailments.

Visitors to Chimayo often take "holy dirt" from a pit in the shrine where the crucifix was reportedly found. Some rub it on their skin, others eat it; many claim to have been cured of disease, illness and infirmity.

For more information, visit the El Santuario de Chimayo and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe websites.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Easter • Holidays • Miracles • New Mexico

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Father Phil

    If you cannot make a pilgrimage to Chimayo to get your own dirt, I know of two places you can order a nice supply shipped to you anywhere in the world.
    1. ebay.com – search for "miracle dirt"
    1. http://www.chimayomiracledirt.com

    September 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    So, Adelina, you believe this "holy dirt" story? I actually visited this church last summer. You should try getting out of your trailer once in a while.

    April 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  3. Artist

    Adelina, let me guess..you talk to a god and they talk to you. LOL

    April 22, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Adelina

      @Artist: God is One. If you don't understand the concept of the Holy Trinity, it's your problem.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:55 am |
  4. Reality

    The only "holy" ground on this globe is that containing the decomposing bones of Jesus somewhere outside of Jerusalem assuming they were not eaten by wild dogs or vultures.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • John Richardson

      What's so special about those bones?

      April 22, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Adelina

      Jesus is risen from the dead. His tomb is empty. Villains will be sorry for their evil blasphemies for eternity.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • jimtanker

      Or, you could live your life without the fear of HEII FIRE AND DAMNATION!!! In the end we are all worm food.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Reality


      Great question. Said bones would put the final nail in the Christian coffin currently filled with myth and embellishment and it would put the period behind Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 15 "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      April 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Adelina

      @Jim, that's only non-believers. Jesus promised to save you if you repent and trust Him. @Reality, Corinthians 15 concludes, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead." Atheists' quotations must never be trusted as they are half-truth and maliciously deceptive.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • Reality

      Hmmm, tis holy Saturday. Tis not this the day, the simple, preacher man spent in Hell?

      Time for an update:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


      April 23, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  5. jimtanker

    "a Chimayo friar reportedly found a miraculous crucifix glowing on the ground"

    I think that what he found was a mess of payote and was tripping.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  6. Woody

    P T Barnum was right!

    April 22, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • Ironica

      I laugh when I think about all those thousands of cubic yards of dirt being "replenished" by the priests when they think no one is looking.
      If they had not replaced what is taken, the whole area would be a pit.
      Ironic, that.

      April 23, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Fist of Reason

      To think fertilizer is holy is just an inside joke for the priests as they ra-pe your children and tell you how to live your life.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Adelina

      Fist, most Catholic priests are innocent. Children get ra ped because men are evil, and the West doesn't have virgin women for marriage.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:47 am |
    • Adelina

      America's s e x ual revolution made both men and women the worst kind of traitors and perverts everywhere.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:59 am |
    • ZeebleZub

      I think Adelina was made, not born, a fool.
      Being hit in the head that many times that hard is bound to cause brain damage, anyway.
      She has little else to do. Her injuries, stunted growth, and lack of proper education virtually guarantee that she would turn out this way.

      April 24, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  7. Adelina

    Catholics really need to read the Bible...

    April 22, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • tbubb

      Catholics gave you the Bible...

      April 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Adelina

      But the majority of them don't read it regularly. They should.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:45 am |
    • ZeebleZub

      Everybody needs to burn their Bibles, Torahs, Qurans, and other "holy" texts.
      Let's put your gods to the test!
      If we destroy them all maybe your gods will finally produce something real.
      Maybe that's why they never do anything. They're jealous of the lies written by humans or maybe they were just waiting for something like that.
      But if it will never happen, then we will always be without something made by an actual "god". You can't say it's impossible, can you? LOL
      What a bunch of maroons! Your beliefs can't even hold up under the simplest of tests! Contradictions everywhere are proof of lies.
      Lies are lies. Period. If you worship lies, you and I are going to have problems.

      April 24, 2011 at 7:43 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.