St. Nino de Atocha, or the Sacred Child of Atocha, is portrayed as a young male pilgrim with a brimmed hat with plume and cape ornate or cloak with the St. James shell. He holds a basket of roses or food and staff.
Devotion to the Holy Child began in Madrid, Spain with Our Lady of Atocha as revealed by Spanish King Alphonse the Wise in the 1200s. The Child is the patron of pilgrims with legend having him roaming the land to bring help to the helpless. This stems from the caliph of Madrid only allowing children under 12 years old to bring food to prisoners of faith.
Nino de Atocha became a symbol for Spain when Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Moors. Spanish explorers carried the Child’s statues to the New World. Through time, he has been revered for miracles with special observations in New Mexico and Spain.