Tens of thousands of people will make their way up Mount Cristo Rey Sunday morning.
The five mile pilgrimage celebrates the anniversary of the completion of the monument and the date that was chosen to coincide with the Christian feast of Christ the King. In previous years, estimates have shown attendance at as much as 40,000 faithful. Many people make it an annual event for themselves, while for others, it is their first time.
The pilgrimage begins at 10:00 a.m. with a procession led by the Bishops of the Diocese of Las Cruces and El Paso. Some people even make journey barefooted, while fewer make the ascent on their knees. A mass is conducted at the top of the mountain as the monument looms over the gathering. Throughout the day starting at 6 a.m., people begin making their journey up the mountain. However, due to security concerns, it is not recommended. No visitors are permitted to start after 12 p.m.
Due to the limited parking at the base of the mountain, it is suggested that you arrive early. Parking fills up quickly and many have to resort to leaving their car in the Sunland Park area. Hiking attire for fall weather in the southwest climate is encouraged.
The cross will be illuminated overnight on the eve of the pilgrimage.
The Mount Cristo Rey Restoration Committee contributed to this article.