(Little Well)

Most of the pilgrims travel by foot, sometimes without shoes, enduring many physical hardships along the way. When they reach the shrine at the end of the journey, they enter a small candlelit room, kneel near the “pozito” (little well), scoop out the “tierra bendita” (sacred earth), and apply it to places on their bodies corresponding to the wounds our Lord received during his crucifixion. Some of the dust is poured into bags and vials to be taken home. Many people believe that, rubbed on the body or made into tea, it can ease arthritis, paralysis, sore throat, sadness, and the pains of childbirth: they also believe that a pinch thrown into the fire will avert or disperse a storm.

Margaret M. Nava
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Santuario de Chimayo