Origin of devotion to Santo Nino de Atocha - Child Jesus of Atocha
History of the Santo Nino de Atocha - 13th Century Spain
If it was bad for the Catholics locked up in the jails, it was no picnic for those on the outside. Their lives were constantly in jeopardy in Spain at that time.
Villagers had to be afraid to leave their homes. There were stories of townspeople who, out of dire necessity, had to go to visit relatives in far distant villages or cities. On their way, they could count on being accosted on the roads, robbed, beaten and often killed.
Many had no recourse but to sleep in the forests or on the side of the road.
They reported that a little Boy, dressed as a Pilgrim of Atocha, would come to them with food and water, and whatever else they needed.
Not only that but the Little Pilgrim would suddenly appear, when all seemed lost, and help them out of dangerous situations.
If to avert wayside perpetrators, they should get lost, a Pilgrim around twelve years of age appeared. He would not only guide them, but often accompanied them on their journey.
When He was confident they could continue without Him, He would warn them which roads were safe and which were not safe to travel, and would end up laying out a plan how they could get to their destination safely. Their description of Him was always the same.
The little boy of Atocha had on a pilgrim's garb, with a brimmed hat sporting a plume and a cape or a robe about His Shoulders. The Child carried in His left Hand a pilgrim's staff, with a gourd of water attached to it.
In later years, an ornate shell pattern (or St. James Shell), was pictured on the cape of His outfit, a symbol of the Pilgrim's cape worn by pilgrims to the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.
Because this miraculous event began in Atocha, the Child received the title: the Holy Infant of Our Lady of Atocha.
Stories of miracles spreading, The Shrine of Our Lady of Atocha began being a well-visited Shrine in Spain, as early as the 13th Century. It is recorded that Our Lady of Atocha was even venerated there by the Spanish King Alphonse, at that time.
In the Shrine, there are pictures of the Santo Niño being held in the arms of His Mother - Our Lady of Atocha. During the time of the miracles in the 13th Century in Spain, the Santo Niño de Atocha was connected to the statue of Our Lady of Atocha.
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Come with Bob and Penny to Spain, Fresnillo, Mexico and Chimayo, New Mexico as they track the history of the devotion to Santo Niño de Atocha.
Witness the many miracles attributed to the Child Jesus under this title.He has been the salvation of His people in all ages andlocations. In Spain, he fed the prisoners of the Moorsand saved them from starvation.
He kept them out of harm's way as they traveled the dangerous roads.He saved them from snake bites, dehydration, starvation,and always brought them back to Mother Church. There is a tremendous devotion to the Santo Niño de Atocha to this