Primary Language- Spanish
Occupation- Construction Worker
Residence- Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance- 3/17/16
Santo Nino de Atoche
When i was a child, my dad was in a Mexican jail and our whole family was devastated. One day, I could not help myself, I had to be by myself and pray that my dad would be okay. I decided to go to a river and just think. I did not know when he was going to come out because my mother did not know either. As time passed, a kid walked by me. He looked younger than me and told me, your dad is going to be fine and is waiting for you home. The kid then walked away and fled to the village. I have never met him or seen him. I rushed back home wishing the kid was right and started to tear up as my father was home. I hugged him and told my mother that a boy told me my dad would be okay. She showed me a picture of a saint that looked just like him. I then realized that a saint had blessed us and guaranteed his safety. She told me the that the saint’s name was Santo Nino de Atoche.
The person who performed this legend was my uncle. He is from Mexico and had lived in Zacatecas for most of his life until he came to the United States. In his city, there are many legends, myths, and stories people share. This legend came directly from his own personal experience but Santo Nino de Atoche has been around for hundreds of years. Francisco had learned this story from his mother who had told him that Santo Nino de Atoche was a holy saint that was the child of Jesus. My uncle believes that he appears when people need miracles and pray to God. God is the one who hears their prayers and sends the saint to assist them in their time of need. His whole family has portraits and other objects that worship the saint but he never truly believed or submitted his entire faith until he saw him when his dad was in jail. Seeing him there made him believe that he was real and that if he ever needed his help again, all he would have to do was pray and a miracle would be possible.
When Francisco told me this story, you can easily determine that his feelings for the saint are strong. We were at the dining table eating some traditional Mexican pastelitos. He told me the story with a smile on his face and excitement of reliving one his beloved childhood memories. He even had a glass case which held the saint. He has owned it ever since he left Mexico and everywhere he has gone in the United States. His faith in the saint is undeniably real and immense. The passion he shows when telling the stories lingers on the listener and makes them feel that maybe what he is saying is totally real.
The legend of Santo Nino de Atoche is very interesting and highlights the fact that a lot of the Mexican people love miracles and works of jesus. Their faith to the saints is tremendous and they use this hope to keep moving and pushing forward. A lot of the Mexican people use this hope to get out of the country to have a better life like in California. The hope received by saints such as Santo Nino de Atoche propels them to take the risks believing he will protect them and make sure they make it. The story of the Nino de Atoche had originated in Spain during the 15th century and has traveled all the way to Mexico. Many of the people do not know its origin but they do know that the Saint had helped religiously devoted men escape prison when imprisoned for the wrong reasons. They have taken this story and embedded it into their culture and have their children believing it is a strong Mexican only belief. Francisco has passed on his story and belief to his son which also shares the belief that Santo Nino de Atoche can grant miracles and when in times of needs, he only has to pray for his help and all will be okay. When a faith withheld changes into a personal experience, the belief becomes stronger and can survive multiple generations.