Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TOME HILL


First, a quick Spanish lesson: "Tome" is pronounced "toe-may." The hill stands there today, much as it did centuries ago when the Spanish priests, soldiers and settlers came up the Camino Real (the Royal Road). A landmark to guide by, rising as it does next to the Rio Grande. Except for the mile long path rising from its southeast side, and the three large crosses on top, it is much as it was those centuries past. It was named, they say, for Thome Dominguez de Mendoza, a survivor of the Great 1680 Pueblo Indian Revolt.

Over the years Tome Hill has come to mean much more to people than a mere road sign along the way. It has taken on a strong religious meaning, hence the crosses erected on top. The faithful come from all over the state to make annual pilgrimages to the top. Some attribute miracles of healing to their journey to the top. Good Friday and Easter seems to be the most popular times to make the pilgrimage, but true believers often say that making the climb on any day brings them a feeling of being blessed and deepens their faith.

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