Saint: El Santo Niño de Atocha/The Saint Child of Atocha
School of José Aragón, New Mexico, Active 1820-1835
Gesso, and water-soluble paint on wood
5 1/2” x 3 1/2”
History Collection NMHM, 2007.32.222
The Child of Atocha is the patron saint of those unjustly imprisoned, protector of travelers, and rescuer of those in peril. According to legend, in the Spanish city of Atocha, the Moors only allowed children to perform acts of mercy for their Christian captives, and a child appeared wearing pilgrim’s clothing and carrying a basket of food and a gourd of water. After the child gave food and water to the prisoners, his basket and gourd miraculously remained full. He is depicted seated and wears a cape and a brimmed hat with a plume, and holds a staff with a gourd in his left hand and a basket of flowers or bread in his right.