Santa Fe New Mexico: Holy Week Easter Travel Advice

Sanctuario de Chimayo

Sanctuario de Chimayo

Easter in Santa Fe

Easter Holy Week in Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of the most special and holy times a visitor could experience on a Spring Visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Appropriately named, Santa Fe is “the city of Holy Faith” and surrounded by the Sangre de Cristos (blood of Christ) mountains- there is no others place in the USA we can think of for a special and holy Easter Travel Vacation.

When people think of Holy Week or Easter and plan to visit Santa Fe- there’s no denying the top event is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi Pilgrimage! The Cathedral Basilica of St Francis de Assisi Pilgrimage is also known as the Walk to Chimayo or the Pilgrimage to Chimayo. Holy Week actual begins the Saturday before Good Friday (April 14, 2017). The actual pilgrimage leaves at 6:00 AM from Sacred Heart Church in Nambe on Friday which is just 10 minutes drive north from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn- Santa Fe. The distance to walk is eight miles. Meanwhile from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM the Secular Franciscan Order from Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi wash the feet of the arriving pilgrims at the Sanctuario de Chimayo. The journey is to be done in silence with self reflection, the washing of feet is a welcomed yet humbling holy element presided over by Rev. Adam Lee Ortega y Ortiz. All pilgrims are welcomed.

Every day during Holy Week (April 10-14, 2017) the Sanctuario de Chimayo opens at 9:00 AM. Special events take place throughout each day. A schedule follows:

April 12, Wednesday of Holy Week

10:00 AM — Barela Senior Center Pilgrims, Albuquerque, NM

10:30 AM — Rosary

April 13, Holy Thursday

12:00 PM — Live Stations of the Cross by Youth from Our Lady of Sorrows, Bernalillo, NM

3:00 PM — Rosary by Morada de San Antonio (Cordova)

4:00 PM — Rosary by Morada de Nuestra Señora de Dolores (Chimayo)

10:00 PM — Prayer Service

Santuario is open all night

April 14, Good Friday

9:30 AM, 10:30, 11:30, etc.– Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet, Santo Niño Chapel

12:00 PM — Good Friday Procession

3:00 PM — Divine Mercy Novena, Santo Niño Chapel

10:00 PM — Prayer Service

Santuario is open all night

April 15, Holy Saturday

9:00 AM — Santuario opens

6:00 PM — Santuario closes

April 16, Easter Sunday

9:00 AM — Santuario opens

10:30 AM — Mass

12:00 PM — Noon Mass

1:15 PM — La Danza del Santo Niño Matachines, Albuquerque & Farmington Groups

3:15 PM — La Danza del San Judas Tadeo Matachines

4:30 PM — La Danza del Juan Diego, St. Anne’s Church, Alb. NM

5:00 PM — Santuario closes

5:00 PM — Santuario closes

So…. What is a pilgrimage you might ask? Below you will find a copy of a letter written by Father Julio Gonzalez and can be found on the Sanctuario de Chimayo website. We provide it here as guidance for the definition of pilgrim.

…..I truly believe that God has a plan for all of us, that we are not here without a specific reason. I don’t know God’s plan for your niece, but we should tell the Lord that if He still has something for her to do here, on earth, she and her family don’t reject the work.

All of us are on a pilgrimage. We have no everlasting dwelling home here. We are on a pilgrimage and on a journey of faith. To be a pilgrim means that we let God guide our footsteps; that the pilgrimage of his Son from Nazareth to Jerusalem inspires our own pilgrimage. His teachings enlighten our lives, his suffering gives us courage, his faith gives us hope, his love brings us to life.

For us “time” means a lot, but for God “time” means nothing (“One thousand years are like a second, one second is like a thousand years”, Book of Psalms). Still this is a mystery for us, but the pilgrim is closer to this mystery because he tries to see the world with God’s eyes. Then, the world and our lives take on a new light where death has no power over us. Saint Francis called death “sister Death”.

My advice is this:

FIRST: Start your pilgrimage with a prayer. In your prayer call God, your Father. Actually He is waiting for you. Then, acknowledge your weaknesses and flaws. Entrust your deeper longings to Him. Entrust your niece to Him. Ask the Lord to reveal His will during this pilgrimage. If you cannot understand Him, how can you be faithful to Him? But, remember, you will only understand God with your heart and this heart must be emptied before God sends His grace upon you. The pilgrimage will help you to empty your heart of anything that is not of God.

SECOND: During the pilgrimage, offer God your tiredness, hunger, suffering, pain. In the same way that Jesus, His Son, suffered for us, tell God that the purpose of your sacrifice is your niece’s healing. You should fast from anything that is not water and bread (eat and drink only bread and water). Fasting pleases God because you become sharper, stronger, unafraid… The purpose of fasting is not to weaken your body, but to strengthen your will and, thus, your body.

THIRD: But you don’t want to tempt your God. Don’t act like Satan when Jesus went to the desert: if you are the Son of God then do this, do that… Your prayer should be Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane: “Not my will, but Yours…”

I hope this will help you.

God bless you,

Rev. Julio Gonzalez, SF.


Contact for Information on Cathedral Basilica of St Francis de Assisi Pilgrimage HERE.

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