The healing spirit of El Niño Fidencio

By Tara Haelle
For Reporting Texas

One Sunday a month, in a small house in Fort Worth, Texas, the bigger-than-life spirit of a man known for his childlike demeanor comes to visit a devoted congregation. So believe the “fidencistas” who hear mass at the home of Criselda Valencia, a “materia” who channels the spirit of famed folk healer El Niño Fidencio.

On a typical Sunday, following the service, Valencia “assists” the beloved El Niño in continuing the work he started in a small Mexican town almost a century ago. Like dozens of other materias throughout Mexico and the southern U.S., she believes that the spirit of El Niño uses her body to continue healing the physical, mental and spiritual ailments of those who seek El Niño’s help.

“I don’t remember things when the Niño comes,” Valencia said during a recent phone conversation. “I just feel like I’m in the other place, some place, or sometimes I come back like I was asleep and I don’t know nothing. The people tell me what the Niño says.”

Born as José de Jesús Fidencio Constantino Síntora in Guanahuato, Mexico in 1898, El Niño Fidencio is perhaps Mexico’s most famous curandero, or faith healer. After he came to Espinazo, Mexico in 1925, he spent the rest of his life tending to the thousands of people who journeyed to see him, sometimes reportedly sleeping only three hours a night because the pilgrims kept him so busy, according to Mexican anthropologist Raúl Cadena. His high-pitched voice and boyish appearance led to the moniker “El Niño,” which means “the boy” in Spanish.

El Niño never charged for his services, which ranged from prescribing herbs for simple illnesses and pulling teeth or removing gall stones – reportedly painlessly yet without anesthesia – to curing cancer, paralysis, muteness or depression. His fame as a healer became so widespread that even Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles visited him for six hours in 1928. After El Niño’s mysterious death in 1938 – some believe from exhaustion, others from murder – his popularity escalated so rapidly that he became known as a folk saint to the thousands of “fidencistas” who believed in his divine power.

Although fidencistas, like El Niño himself, are Roman Catholic, the Church does not recognize El Niño as a saint or miracle healer. In fact, Cadena writes that a bishop reportedly met with El Niño in 1936 to request that he stop administering the sacraments of the Church because he was not ordained. El Niño complied briefly – and then resumed administering sacraments.

Today, many of the materias who believe they channel El Niño’s spirit perform their services in conjunction with a Sunday mass. At Valencia’s house, Padre Jacinto Ramos conducts a mass, after which members of the congregation pray for El Niño’s spirit to arrive. Once they believe he has come into Valencia’s body, she dons a white robe and red hat, her voice becomes high-pitched and her demeanor changes significantly. She then spends the rest of the day serving the dozens who come to the home for help with headaches, getting a promotion at work, conceiving a child, insomnia, and more serious conditions. Criselda told this reporter during one Sunday ceremony about a man whose tumor went away after asking for El Niño’s blessing.

It’s as difficult to characterize the belief in El Niño as it is to get firm details about the man himself. Cadena has called it a cult or a Catholic sect. Others, including those who trek each year to Espinazo in March and October – the anniversary months of El Niño’s death, respectively – to celebrate the folk saint’s life and seek his healing powers, do not put a name to it. To them the man is simply El Niño, a mystery and a miracle.


Leave a comment

Your name (required)

Email (required) The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly

Comment


debra

Please anybody email me the address of Nino Fidencio in Dallas forth worth i will be in town i have been going to Mexico but would like to find something local.


Robbie

do you have a address or a phone number for her?
thanks in advance


Ruby Jimenez

i have sent out emails regarding the Nino in Devine, Tx (27 miles SW of San Antonio, TX) to those commenters that posted their email address. I have been going to the Nino here in Devine, Tx for about 3 maybe 4 years off and on…and he has helped me in so many ways…in all aspects of my life..my kids, my work, my health. here is my email address redjimenez@gmail.com if you’d like more info…I’ll be glad to help with what I know.


Lillian Elms

There will be service in Devine Tx this Sunday morning 6-8 14
Come join us in a healing with the Nino…


Lillian Elms

A lot of people are in search of El Nino Fidencio. We have been going to one in Devine Texas for about 4 years. It stared with my mother and now myself and partner go. We have seen people sick, on hard times, depressed, on drugs, or others who have evil done to them. We have been there for the cures and happy endings. We are true believer’s and have faith in the work that is done. It’s a peaceful place where you feel at home and no shame. We all sing a few song’s to the Nino and then say the rosary. Once were done the Nino will start calling people in to a room for their needs. Music is playing the whole time and people are talking amongst themselves. Afterwards we have a meal. As far as cost, there isn’t one. He works off of donations. As well as donating drinks, snacks, food, paper goods or whatever you’d like to bring. Hope to meet yall there for a nice day of blessings Sunday June 8th and 22nd…God Bless You…


traci lopez

What is the address for nino fidencio? If I can please get his info. Thx


Lee Garcia

It was a little house in Diamond Hill. I know because it was my great grandparents who used to have the mass. This other lady was a scam artist. She ripped off my great grandparents out of thousands of dollars. Oh Diamond Hill is a neighborhood in north Fort Worth,Texas.


Jeannette gamez

If someone knows the address to the niño fidencio I’m Devine TX please email me the info thank you j3nniplus2@gmail.com


lydia

Can u please send address to el nino fidencio in san antonio tx. or in divine tx. my family and i are i need of help and i feel he’s the one to go to so i would really appreciate it if someone could help us out on finding him Thank you.


julie

Does any one know I know El Nino fidencio is going to be in falfurrias today 19th or tomorrow 20th of July can you please let me know really want to go


Margie Montgomery

We live in Weatherford, Texas. Around 40 miles west of Ft Worth. Please send us the address so we can come see El Niño.


Love Richmond

one day in June I met a lady out of the blue on Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles CA she came in a store she look at me and began to tell me about Nino Fidencio Constantino she was healed by him she told me to
buy his white candle pray believe and I have been doing that, for some reason I feel good about his
spirit .Should you be aware of the place the service is held please in La or other wise please send ne telephone or email thanks today July 21/2014( 323 ) 552-2651 please.


Marta Kler

Ref. My son is very sick, his name is Juan Luis Kler.
Need your address Please!


vazque

El Nino Fidencio es un santo muy milagroso.


mayra

Can someone please help me with the address here in Fort Worth? I’m in desperate need.


gijoemartinez

Does anyone know what days and hours that we can go see “El Nino”? Is it just on Sundays?


mari

Hola. Nesesito saber si hay una materia del Nino Fidencio en Houston, Austin o en San Antonio. Muchas gracias.


mari

I need to know when is the next service, and also address in Devine, TX. Need healing.


Alma

Need Nino Fidencio address in Dallas/Ft. Worth, he’s helped all my family for over 40 yrs. Lost our Materia in Lometia, TX.


traci aragon

I strongly believe in el Nino Fidencio, I have been trying to find one here in San Antonio, TX. I have seen him in the past and he has helped me. I have been trying to come out pregnant but don’t have any luck. Is it possible to be referred out or do you ever come to San Antonio?