Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy was appointed by the Church to the New Mexico Territory in 1850. There, at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, he brought the Sisters of Our Lady of Light (Loretto) who opend an academy for girls in 1853. The architect, Antoine Mouly and his son were brought from Paris to design a chapel on the Achademy grounds. It was to fashioned after Lamy’s favorite place of worshipin Paris, Sainte Chapelle.
Inside the Gothic chapel is a staircase referred to as miraculous, sometimes called St. Joseph’s staircase. The nuns had prayed for someone to build stairs to the choir loft and legend has it that an itinerant carpender appeared, closed himself within the church for three months and built the spiraling staircase from extinct wood species, without nails or glue, and with no center support. He then quietly left the chapel and was never seen again.
*Natural Stone colors may slightly vary.