EL NINO DE ATOCHA
El Nino de Atocha (The Little Boy of Atocha) is a particular
vision of Jesus Christ as a young boy wearing a pilgrim's
cloak and hat of 16th century style. He carries a basket of food, a
staff, a water-gourd, and a sheaf of wheat. He is usually
shown sitting in a chair, often with matched vases of
flowers on either side of him. His popularity is greatest in Spain and
the Central and South American countries once conquered and
colonized by Spain. Some people in Santeria consider him to be a
symbol of the Orisha Ellegua, one of the
Seven African Powers.
(THE INFANT OF ATOCHA)
The story of El Nino de Atocha is this:
When the Moors conquered the town of Atocha, Spain, in the 1400s
they imprisoned the Christians and provided them with no
food. The people would have starved to death but for a
little boy dressed as a pilgrim who appeared at the jail
every day with a basket of food, some grain for bread,
and a gourd full of water. When the Moors were expelled,
the Christians were released, and it was believed that the
miraculous little boy was none other than the infant Jesus.
In later years El Nino de Atocha appeared again in the vicinity of Atocha,
where he performed other miracles, such as staving off a
rape in progress.
Today he is revered as the special
Patron for those who are in prison, living under
regimes of political torture, those in trouble with the
I.N.S., victims of crimes including rape and abduction,
those facing a court case,
and those who, by virtue of circumstances, require help
from outside for the opening of their way.
The little Mexican nicho (metal niche or wall altar) shown
here depicts El Nino de Atocha on a printed holy card under
the favourable gaze of The
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Order a Nino de Atocha Italian Holy Medal from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
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