Miracles of Santo Nino de Atocha
One miracle, which was chronicled in 1829, tells of a woman who was wrongly sentenced to prison. She pleaded to the authorities that she had been wrongly imprisoned, but to no avail. To make matters worse, she could find no one who would come forth to help her prove her innocence. She prayed tirelessly to Our Lady of Atocha and the Blessed Infant in Her arms, for help. The more she prayed, the more it seemed help was not forthcoming. But this dear lady believed; with all her heart, she believed. So she kept praying.
A young Man, elegantly dressed, entered the prison from nowhere, it seemed. He brought food and water to the distressed woman. He said it was in response to a request the imprisoned woman had made to His Mother. She begged Him for help with her plight. He was able to free her from the jail. She asked Him His name, that she might remember Him and pray for Him. He said to her, “My Mother is Maria of Atocha. My name is Emmanuel of Atocha.”
It didn’t occur to her at the time what the young man was telling her, regarding his identity. She walked all through the night, towards the little town of Fresnillo, that she might go to the Shrine of the Lady of Atocha and give thanks for the miraculous escape she’d had because of Her intercession. When she entered the Church, she saw the statue of the Santo Niño in the Arms of Our Lady of Atocha, at the main Altar of the church. She could see that this was the same Child who had helped her at the prison. Then she remembered the tradition of the Santo Niño; and how He would come to the prisons at night. She knew that Our Lady and Our Lord Jesus had answered her prayers.
The shepherd and the rattlesnake
Another miracle concerns a shepherd who was out in the forest, tending his flock. This day, our story finds him alone, sitting under a tree, seeking some kind of shelter from the pouring rain. There was not a soul to be seen for miles. Stealthily a snake slithered out from under a rock, unnoticed by the shepherd. The rattlesnake struck before he knew what was happening. The shepherd was bitten on his right leg, and became completely incapacitated. Unable to move, he prayed with what strength he had left; but felt no relief. Then he remembered the stories his mother had told him about Our Lady of Atocha, and the powerful intercessor She was with Her Son. He prayed to Our Lady of Atocha and Our Lord Jesus, the Santo Niño de Atocha. He did not receive the instantaneous healing he expected. In fact, he felt no relief. Weak, life quickly ebbing out of him, he finally passed out.
When he regained consciousness, he was sure he was in Heaven, or rather he prayed he was in Heaven. But when he looked around him, everything was the same as it had been, or was it? He noticed the sun was shining and the storm was over. There was a little Boy, a Niño, standing
over him, talking 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 him some bread from his basket. Upon drinking the water and eating the bread, the shepherd began to feel better immediately. He was bewildered by what was happening, as he still had not figured out who the Boy was. All he knew was he could feel himself getting better.
He got up and walked around. His leg was healing! The dizziness was leaving him! There was no more swelling, and his fever had left him. He was well! He looked around for the little Boy, but He was gone. The shepherd thought this curious, but didn’t make too much of it. 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 that which the woman in the first miracle encountered. When the shepherd walked into the church, there, on the main altar, seated on a throne, was the little Boy, the Niño who had saved his life in the forest, and in His Hand was the same basket from which He had given the shepherd food and in the other Hand the gourd from which the Niño had given him to drink. Only now he realized that it was not just a niño, it was the Santo Niño, who had saved his life.