An Ancient Archetype: For thousands of years, in many places and cultures, pilgrims have walked the labyrinth to find sacred wisdom. Its patterns teach us about life, about ourselves, encouraging us to turn our attention inward to deeper levels of understanding. Many visitors who might not be Catholic will be drawn by the special beauty and mystery in El Santuario, perhaps finding an ancient echo to the sand paintings of the Hopi, the mandalas of India, or the ancient tapestries of Tibet.
Early Christian Roots: Although its origins are unknown, the labyrinth was used in Europe by medieval Christians and pilgrims to replace the long journey to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The labyrinth was a symbolic spiritual journey as a way to travel to Jerusalem, following the footsteps of Jesus. By walking the labyrinth they could experience that journey personally, spiritually, and in the heart.
The labyrinth is a three-fold Path: The path to the center of a labyrinth is the Path of Purgation -- the path of shedding or letting go. The center of the labyrinth represents the Point of Illumination -- the path of Light or the presence of the Divine. The path returning back from the center is the Path of Union -- bringing the inner presence of God into the world.
A Unique Gift of Faith: El Santuario de los Pobladores represents a unique embodiment of the Holy Faith, shrines along the pathway representing each of the Mysteries of the Rosary. A small bench encourages the pilgrim to rest. By encoding the Mysteries of the Rosary in this complex geometric pattern, forms of ancient wisdom take one to deeper spiritual realities, leading us to the prayerful inner depths of the heart.
The Mysteries of the Rosary: Walking the labyrinth of El Santuario and praying the Rosary are one and the same path expressed in the body, walking, and in the prayerful observance of the Faith of our ancestors.