Santuario de Chimayo isn’t the only historic church on the High Road to Taos

San Jose de Gracia at Las Trampas

Founded in 1751 by a Spanish land grant entitled Santo Tomás Apostol del Río de las Trampas, (Saint Thomas, Apostle of the River of Traps), the village was settled by 12 families from Santa Fe, led by seventy-four-year-old Juan de Arguello.

Built between 1760 and 1776, local legend says the church actually dates from a much earlier time when twelve devout men built a church of the twelve apostles during the twelve year period from 1580 to 1592.

Las Trampas was never large enough to have a resident priest, so the faithful of the village were served by the Franciscans at the Picurís Pueblo, several miles up the road from Trampas. The village was also served by the Penitentes, as was the case in many rural areas on northern New Mexico.

#letsgetwordy #history #culture #heritage #roadtrip #travel #church #catholic #spanish #newmexico #faith (at Trampas, New Mexico)

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Those of us who grew up as Evangelical Protestants were told that, unlike Orthodox or Roman Catholic Christians, we Protestants worshipped God in spirit and in truth. That is why, we were told, we needed no liturgy or “empty rituals” to help us to worship God. We did not need to study church history because our personal salvation histories were all that mattered. We did not need the Holy Tradition because we had a direct personalized relationship with Jesus. If we felt spiritual, then we were. What we did or how we worshipped had nothing to do with our salvation, which we understood to be a one-time, almost magical, predestined occurrence, not a journey. We believed in the Bible, but not in the Church. We did not need to confess to a priest, to celebrate the Eucharist, let alone light a candle, venerate an icon or say a written prayer. We were taught that we were free of all such “neo-pagan superstitions.” How other Christians had done things for millennia, or what they had believed, or how they had come to believe was no concern of ours. We needed no interpretation but our own in deciphering the meaning of the Scriptures.

No bishop, apostolic or otherwise, had any special authority over us regarding the true meaning of Scripture. No Father of the Church or Council had any special wisdom to which we should hearken. In fact we were told that our Christianity was like the rest of life in our pluralistic, free society-up to the individual, a personal choice, a question of individual “leading.” Our Christianity was, in fact, anything we wanted it to be, though perhaps we never admitted as much. We said that what we believed was biblical. But it often turned out that the Bible said anything we wanted it to. We tended to reject the ancient Christian idea that the Holy Spirit had led the Church. Yet we readily enough claimed the Spirit’s “leading,” on a personal subjective level, as proof that we were correct about matters theological and “doing the Lord’s Will” in matters personal. If we disagreed with the teaching of one denomination or minister, we would shop for a new “church” until we found one we liked.

—  Frank Schaeffer, Dancing Alone, p. 1-2
This Armenian manuscript was created in 1475 by a Armenian scribe named Aristakes for the Armenian Apostolic Church

It contains a series of sixteen images on the life of Christ preceding the text of the Gospels, as well as the traditional Evangelist portraits, and there are marginal illustrations throughout. The style of the miniatures, which employ brilliant colors and emphasize decorative patterns, is characteristic of manuscript production in the region around Lake Van during the fifteenth century.

This jeweled and enameled silver binding bears a composition of the Adoration of the Magi on the front and the Ascension on the back.

Numerous inscriptions  spanning a few centuries attest to the manuscript’s long history of use and revered preservation