Santo Niño de Atocha – The Miracles of the Child

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Miracles of the Holy Child of Atocha

A Miracle, recorded in 1829, tells of a woman who was mistakenly sentenced to prison. She pleaded with the authorities that she had been wrongfully imprisoned, but to no avail. To make matters worse, she couldn’t find anyone to come help her prove her innocence. She tirelessly prayed to Our Lady of Atocha and the Blessed Child in her arms for help. The more she prayed, the more help seemed to come. But this dear lady believed; with all her heart, she believed. So she kept praying.

A young man, elegantly dressed, entered the prison out of nowhere, it seemed. He brought food and water to the distraught woman. He said it was in response to a request that the imprisoned woman had made to her Mother. She begged him to help her with her plight. He was able to free her from jail. She asked him his name, so that she could remember him and pray for him. He told her: “My mother is María de Atocha. My name is Emmanuel de Atocha.”

It did not occur to him at that moment what the young man was telling him, regarding his identity. He walked all night, towards the town of Fresnillo, to go to the Sanctuary of the Lady of Atocha and give thanks for the miraculous escape that he had had through his intercession. Upon entering the Church he saw the statue of the Holy Child in the Arms of Our Lady of Atocha, on the High Altar of the church. She could see that this was the same Child who had helped her in prison. She then remembered the tradition of the Holy Child; and how he would come to the prisons at night. She knew that Our Lady and Our Lord Jesus had answered her prayers.

Another miracle concerns a shepherd who was in the forest, tending his flock. On this day, our story finds him alone, sitting under a tree, seeking some kind of shelter from the pouring rain. Not a soul was to be seen for miles. Silently, a snake slithered out from under a rock, unnoticed by the shepherd. The rattlesnake struck before he knew what was happening. The pastor was bitten on his right leg and was left completely incapacitated. Unable to move, he prayed with his remaining strength; but he felt no relief. Then he remembered the stories his mother had told him about the Virgin of Atocha, and the powerful intercessor who was with his son. He prayed to Our Lady of Atocha and to Our Lord Jesus, the Holy Child of Atocha. He didn’t receive the instant healing he expected. In fact, he felt no relief. Weak, the life slipping away from him quickly, he finally passes out.

When he regained consciousness, he was sure he was in Heaven, or rather he prayed that he was in Heaven. But when he looked around him, everything was the same as before, wasn’t it? He noticed that the sun was shining and that the storm was over. There was a little Child, a Nino, standing over him, speaking softly to him, with a gourd of water in his hand. The little boy gave the shepherd some water to drink from the gourd. Then he gave her some bread from his basket. By drinking the water and eating the bread, the shepherd immediately began to feel better. He was baffled by what was happening, since he still hadn’t figured out who the Child was. All he knew was that he could feel that he was getting better.

He got up and walked. Her leg of hers was healing! The dizziness was leaving him! There was no more swelling and the fever had left him. He was fine! He looked around for the Child, but he was gone. The pastor thought this was curious, but he did not give it too much importance. He left the forest, his mission to go to the Church of Our Lady of Atocha and offer her praise and thanksgiving for saving his life. His experience was the same as he encountered the woman in the first miracle. When the pastor entered the church, there, at the main altar, seated on a throne, was the Child, the Child who had saved his life in the forest, and in His Hand was the same basket from which he had given the shepherd’s food and in the other hand the gourd from which the Child had given him to drink. Only now did he realize that he was not just a child, it was the Holy Child, who had saved his life.

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