Holy Child of Atocha or Santo Niño de Atocha is a Roman Catholic image of the Child Jesus popular among the Hispanic cultures of Spain, Latin America, the Philippines and the southwestern United States.
In the 13th century, Spain was under Muslim rule. In the town of Atocha many Christians were taken prisoners as spoils of war. The Christians were placed on strict punishments and prohibitions, and the devout prisoners were denied food by their captors. According to legend, only children under the age of 12 were permitted to bring them food.
Reports soon began among the people of Atocha that a child under the age of twelve had begun to bring food to childless prisoners. The child was dressed in pilgrim's clothing yet could not be identified as to the name of the child or its origins.
The people of Atocha interpreted this as a sign that the infant Jesus went out every night to help those in need which later developed into a devotional Roman Catholic practice.
Information for the Holy Child of Atocha was obtained from Wikipedia.
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