Updated: Friday, 02 Apr 2010, 4:24 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 02 Apr 2010, 7:37 AM MDT
CHIMAYÓ, N.M. (KRQE) - In a spirit of penance and tradition Good Friday pilgrims are making their way to El Santuário de Chimayó and to shrines atop mountains in Tomé and Las Cruces.
At dawn Friday the pilgrims, some of whom started walking days ago, could be seen dotting the shoulder of U.S. Highway 84/285 north of Santa Fe with many others already on the side roads leading to El Santuário, the venerable Roman Catholic church associated with miracles and the healing properties of dirt drawn from its floor.
The church in northern Santa Fe County draws literally thousands of devoted people who walk for tens of miles braving cold and hazardous conditions to get there.
Several law enforcement and transportation agencies from northern New Mexico are making sure that walk is a little bit safer marking routes, warning motorists to watch for pedestrians and on Thursday night handing out 3,000 glow sticks to pilgrims continuing their walks in the dark.
U.S. 84/285 from Santa Fe to the turnoff to Nambé was lined with orange barrels with the far right lane and shoulder set aside for walkers.
On Thursday shortly after 8 p.m. a 6-year-old boy was stuck by a car on State Road 503 about four miles south of Chimayó. The boy, who was with a roadside vendor, was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital with broken bones and a head injury, New Mexico State Police reported.
The 72-year-old woman driving the car stopped and was cooperating with police.
Early in the day the weather was cooperating. There wasn't any snow, but it was breezy with temperatures at or below freezing.
KRQE News 13 will be reporting on the pilgrimages in newscasts throughout the day.
View Chimayo pilgrimage in a larger map