Santa Nino de Atocha Children’s Chapel at El Santuario de Chimayó
“In the early 1850’s, Severiano Medina, a member of a well-established and influential family of Chimayo (New Mexico), became seriously ill.
When he recovered he made a pilgrimage, in thankfulness, to the shrine of Santo Niño de Atocha in the town of Plateros in Zacatecas, Mexico.
He returned to Chimayo with a small, papier mache doll of Santo Niño, a manifestation of the Christ Child who is believed to have performed many miracles in Spain and Mexico. Don Medina was given permission to construct a private chapel in which to house the doll. This chapel was completed in 1856 and was instrumental in influencing a large number of devotees to Santo Niño in northern New Mexico.
However, it eventually fell into a state of disrepair and was acquired by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1992. The chapel has since been renovated as a Children’s Chapel with modern artwork but still retaining many of the features of the original chapel. The main altar still houses the original doll brought back by Don Medina from Plateros. “ (El Santuario de Chimayo)
“Santo Niño de Atocha or Holy Child of 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. It is distinctly characterized by a basket he carries, along with a staff, drinking gourd, and a cape with the shell symbol of a pilgrimage to Saint James.”