Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, 1942
One day, an unknown woman was going from door to door in the city of Morelia trying to sell a small statue of the Infant Jesus. When she stopped at a particular house, the woman who answered the door remembered that her godchild, now a grown woman, had wanted such a statue from her earliest childhood. The purchase was made, but the godmother, acting on an interior impulse, decided to keep the statue secret until such time as her godchild, who was then living in Mexico City, would return permanently to Morelia.
Measuring a mere 11 inches in height, the statue had been carved by a skillful hand of fine-grained, fragrant wood and was beautiful in all respects. Delighted with her purchase, the godmother was eager to present her godchild with the statue. However, each time the young lady returned to Morelia for a visit, she expressed no desire to return permanently to her native city. After each visit, the godmother was disappointed that she could not present the young lady with the statue, and she never told her godchild of the surprise that awaited her permanent return. Then one day, much to the surprise of the family, the young lady announced that she had decided to live in Morelia for the rest of her life. The godmother, delighted with the news, happily presented the statue to her godchild.
As soon as the statue came into the possession of the young lady, the Holy Infant began to work what appeared to be extraordinary cures in favor of the sick who prayed before the Infant. After witnessing a number of these cures, the owner decided to address her wonder-working statue as “The Holy Infant of Good Health,” a title that all considered appropriate.
One of the earliest devotees of the little statue was a physician who, together with the owner, organized the first public demonstration that took place on April 21, 1944, in the Capuchin church. During the service, the statue was given a small crown that had been donated by a woman physician. After this ceremony, it became the custom to honor the Holy Infant each April 21 with a Holy Mass offered at one of the churches in the city. The cures worked by Our Lord through this likeness became known throughout Mexico and especially in Mexico City, where a Poor Clare nun composed a novena in the Infant’s honor. Approved by His Excellency Luis Maria Altamirano y Bulnes on December 5, 1946, the statue was made public for the first time in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Morelia.The archbishop of Morelia suggested in 1957 that the statue be removed from the house of the owner and placed in a church, where the Infant Jesus would be more accessible to His devotees. With a heavy heart, the owner gave her consent. Great pomp and ceremony accompanied the Holy Infant of Good Health as it was taken from the owner’s home and carried to the Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Morelia. This took place on December 15, 1957. Witnessing this transfer were the archbishop of Morelia, various ecclesiastics, many priests and nuns representing the many religious orders of Mexico and the United States, as well as distinguished laymen. During the impressive ceremony that followed the transfer, the archbishop of Morelia blessed the statue and its golden crown.
It soon became obvious that the Holy Infant should have His own church in Morelia. A campaign to collect monies for this project was soon organized, a distinguished architect was selected and land was purchased. The cornerstone for this new church was laid in 1958; the consecration of the completed church took place in 1963. The miracles worked by the Holy Infant of Good Health are numerous, and in most cases were described and verified by physicians.
One of the doctors, Antonio Marin Landa, tells that he placed his whole family under the protection of the Holy Child and writes, “Of His immeasurable greatness He has lavished many miracles on me in the past, and I am still experiencing them today, as I hope to go on experiencing them in the future, out of the treasures of His inexhaustible goodness.” The doctor goes on to tell of his preservation from injury after the bus in which he was riding fell off a precipice, of his son who was preserved from serious injury after being gored in the chest by a bull, and the safety of his brother, who escaped his house as it was being destroyed in a sudden and terrible flood.
One of the most remarkable cures involved a four-year-old boy who had sustained a shock that left him deaf, dumb and paralyzed. His case was pronounced hopeless. On learning of the Holy Infant, the boy’s parents carried him to the home of the statue’s owner and recited prayers before the holy image. A month later, when the child remained in the same condition, the family began a novena to the Holy Infant. As part of the novena, they carried the child each day to the statue. On the sixth day of the novena, the boy started to move; on the seventh day, he started to talk; on the eighth day, he began to walk and on the ninth day, he was completely cured.
In addition to the preservation of life in desperate situations, the Holy Infant of Good Health has cured cases of infantile paralysis, heart ailments, brain injuries, severe tonsillitis, infections, rare fevers and many other ailments. Wearing a decorated dress and elaborate cape, the Infant holds a golden scepter in His left hand while raising a graceful right hand in blessing. The Holy Infant of Good Health awaits the visits of His needy clients in the splendid church in Morelia that bears His name.