Nino de Atocha
History of Santo Niño de Atocha
|Roman Catholic people of Mexico, Spain, New Mexico, and other southwestern part of the United States pay devotion to the child, Jesus in the form of Santo Niño de Atocha. This image of the infant Jesus was created in the 13th century when Spain was invaded by Muslims. The town of Atocha was overtaken by the attacking Muslim forces and all Christians were imprisoned.
The imprisoned Christians were punished and starved. The Muslim captors only allowed young children to bring food to their captive fathers. The prisoners without children were gradually dying from the abusive conditions. The women who lived in Atocha offered prayers to the Blessed Mother, pleading with her to ask Jesus for help.
The Mysterious Pilgrim Child
After the women began offering prayers, an unknown young boy began bringing food to the prisoners who had no children. The child was dressed like a pilgrim. He wore a brimmed hat with a feather, a decorative cloak, and holds a basket containing roses or food in his right hand. He also carries a staff with a gourd of water in his left hand.
Our Lady of Atocha
The women of Atocha went to Our Lady of Atocha to thank her for asking Jesus to help the prisoners. When the women gazed upon the Virgin Mary, holding the child Jesus, they noticed that Jesus’ shoes were worn and dirty. The women replaced the shoes but each day, they became dirty again. It was then that the women of Atocha knew that the child Jesus went out each night to bring food and water to the prisoners. The infant Jesus became known as Nino de Atocha and is attributed with many miracles.
Devotion to Santo Niño de Atocha Today
Santo Niño de Atocha Prayer
|Devotion continues to Santo Niño de Atocha even today. Prayers and novenas are offered to the Pilgrim Jesus by many Christians. When praying the novenas, many followers of Jesus wear the Niño de Atocha necklace, remembering His assistance in saving the prisoners of Atocha and for His many miracles helping children.
O Miraculous Infant of Atocha!
Cast Thy merciful look upon my troubled heart, so inclined to pity. Be softened by my prayer, and grant me these favors which I ardently implore of Thee (Mention requests).
Take from me all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which I am laden. For Thy Sacred Infancy’s sake, send me now the consolation and aid and grace that I may praise Thee with the Father and Holy Ghost, forever and ever.Amen
O Divine Child of Atocha, hear my prayer and grant my petition.
Nino de Atocha