About the Artist and Star Ranch, NM Create Your Rosary

Welcome to "Create Your Rosary!"

Where You Can Create Your Own Custom Rosary

My name is Judith Begley Trimarchi.  I have decided to start a new website for this business of mine, since all the regular websites for selling jewelry don't really allow my customers to completely customize a piece exactly the way they want it. People seem to be really excited to be able to design a rosary for themselves or a loved one that is unique, personal, and well made. I have been making jewelry for over 20 years, but just recently started making custom designed rosaries.  I still make other types of jewelry besides rosaries and if you’d like to see my other pieces, please visit my shop on Amazon Handmade. Two years ago, my family moved to Northern New Mexico where the Catholic culture extends back over 400 years. The amazing folk art produced in this region has inspired me to turn my jewelry making talents towards making custom rosaries. My husband and I moved to northern New Mexico in 2015 and settled in the historic town of Chimayo...famous for it’s pilgrimage site, the Santuario, and for a 400 year tradition of fine weaving. We have named our new home Star Ranch, New Mexico and we endeavor to live sustainably in harmony with our community.  To learn more about Star Ranch, Chimayo and Northern New Mexico, please visit the Star Ranch website, starranchnm.com We also run a small Bed & Breakfast in our home.  To find out more about it and make a reservation, click here.

To access my New

Mexico   wildflower

identification photo

gallery, click here.

I live only one mile from the Santuario de Chimayo, a lovely and spiritual place.

El Santuario de Chimayó is a Roman Catholic church in Chimayó, New Mexico, United States.

(Santuario is Spanish for "sanctuary".)

This shrine is famous for the story of its founding and as a

contemporary pilgrimage site. It receives almost 300,000 visitors per

year and has been called "no doubt the most important Catholic

pilgrimage center in the United States."

The nave contains a crucifix by the santero "Molleno" (fl. 1800–1850)

representing Christ of Esquipulas, 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. Other notable folk-

art decorations include five reredoses and a small sculpture of St.

James the Great.

A small room called el pocito (the little well) contains a round pit, the

source of "holy dirt" (tierra bendita) that is believed to have healing

powers. An adjacent Prayer Room displays many ex-votos as well as

photographs, discarded crutches, and other testimonials of those

purportedly healed.

In the early 19th Century,

nineteen families lived in what was then called El Potrero

de Chimayó (potrero means pasture).  The land where the

Santuario now stands belonged to Don Bernardo Abeyta,

one of the first members of Los Hermanos de la

Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno

(the Penitentes) in the area.   Also, he was probably

devoted to the Christ of Esquipulas, a pilgrimage site in

Guatemala where the clay is ascribed healing power.

Bernardo Abeyta built a small chapel to the Christ of

Esquipulas on the present site around 1810. On November

15, 1813, he wrote to Father Sebastián Álvarez, the parish

priest of Santa Cruz de la Cañada, asking him to write to

the Episcopal See of Durango for permission to build a

bigger church in which the people of El Potrero could

worship Jesus as he appeared at Esquipulas and could hear Mass.  The next day, Fr. Álvarez wrote the

letter, mentioning that cures were reported and many pilgrims were arriving.  On February 8, 1814,

Francisco Fernández Valentín, Vicar General of the Diocese of Durango, wrote back with permission.

By 1816 the chapel was replaced by the present church.

In 1929, when the owners were in financial trouble, members of the newly formed Spanish Colonial Arts

Society bought the property and donated it to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

El Santuario de Chimayó was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

Each year some 30,000 people

from all over the world make

pilgrimages to the Santuario de

Chimayó during Holy Week,

especially on Holy Thursday and

Good Friday, some seeking

blessings and some in fulfillment

of a vow. Walking is traditional;

some pilgrims walk from as far

away as Albuquerque, about 90

miles (150 km).

Many visitors to the church take a small amount of the "holy dirt", often

in hopes of a miraculous cure for themselves or someone who could not

make the trip. Formerly, at least, they often ate the dirt. (Likewise

pilgrims to the original shrine of Esquipulas eat the supposedly curative

clay found there.)  Now seekers of cures more commonly rub themselves

with the dirt or simply keep it. The Church replaces the dirt in the pocito

from the nearby hillsides, sometimes more than once a day, for a total of about 25 or 30 tons a year.The

Church takes no position on whether miracles have occurred at the Santuario.

Some say that before the Spaniards arrived, a hot spring that then flowed near the site was sacred to

the Tewa Indians for its healing powers.

One version of the legend says that during Holy Week,

Abeyta (or a friar) saw a light shining from the hillside

and dug the crucifix up with his bare hands. He turned it

over to Fr. Álvarez, who took it to the Santa Cruz church,

but the crucifix mysteriously returned to the spot where

Abeyta found it. After the third time this happened,

Álvarez and Abeyta decided to build a chapel on the spot

to house the crucifix.

Another version says Abeyta was watching his sheep and

contemplating his blessings, though he was sick, when a

vision of his patron saint, San Esquipula [sic], beckoned to

him. He went to the place where the saint had appeared

and knelt; he was cured immediately. Other people also

were cured there, and Abeyta built the chapel in thanks.

A third version says that the crucifix had belonged to a priest from Esquipulas who accompanied the

first Spanish settlers in Chimayó. He was killed by Indians and buried in Chimayó. A flood of the Santa

Cruz River (a small tributary of the Rio Grande) in the spring of 1810 uncovered the body and the

crucifix. People who remembered the priest dedicated the shrine to the Christ of Esquipulas.

The Children’s Chapel

Another beautiful place to visit on the grounds of the Santuario is the

Children’s Chapel which is dedicated to El Santo Niño de Atocha.

In the early 1850’s, Severiano Medina, a member of a well-established

and influential family of Chimayo, became seriously ill. When he

recovered he made a pilgrimage, in thankfulness, to the shrine of

Santo Niño de Atocha in the town of Plateros in Zacatecas, Mexico.

He returned to Chimayo with a small, papier mache doll of Santo

Niño, a manifestation of the Christ Child who is believed to have

performed many miracles in Spain and Mexico. Don Medina was

given permission to construct a private chapel in which to house the


This chapel was completed in 1856 and was instrumental in

influencing a large number of devotees to Santo Niño in northern New


However, it eventually fell into a state of disrepair and was acquired by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in

1992. The chapel has since been renovated as a Children’s Chapel with modern artwork but still

retaining many of the features of the original chapel. The main altar still houses the original doll

brought back by Don Medina from Plateros.

 Create Your Rosary at Star Ranch, NM, a Division of JTL Consulting, LLC  2017 Home About Prices Custom From Parts My Rosaries My Bracelets Other Items Reviews Links Contact

The artist, Judy Trimarchi, walking with the

pilgrims to the  Santuario de Chimayo in 2017.