Famous historical and literary figures who display characteristics of empathy, wisdom and compassion inspire a great sense of faith in humanity and hope for the future. There are two exemplary figures explored in this study that embody these characteristics. The first is the Virgin Mary, a saint widely known and recognized by the Catholic Church since the 4th century. The other is Niño Fidencio: a famous healer, man of God, nicknamed a “saint of the people” from Espinazo, Mexico who lived in the 20th century. Although Niño Fidencio is not officially recognized by the Catholic Church, he names the source of his power as God and is a faithful follower of Catholicism. In King Alfonso X’s famous collection of poetic canticles from the Middle Ages in Spain, Cantigas de Santa María (Canticles of Saint Mary), the Virgin Mary is a key character who plays a role as the wise judge of humanity and also grants healing to those who deserve justice. Likewise, Niño Fidencio is considered a wise, religious figure who helps those in need. However, in the play, El niño con el diamante en la cabeza (The Boy with the Diamond on his Head) by award-winning Mexican playwright, Enrique Mijares, Niño Fidencio becomes a theatrical character whose role focuses on mediation between humanity and God and his strength as a healer of the people. This comparative study highlights the similarities and influence of these two revered figures who come from different time periods and different cultures. The Virgen Mary and Niño Fidencio promote social and religious unification, regardless of the official involvement of the Catholic Church.
(This abstract is taken from the original Spanish into English, as the study is written completely in Spanish.)
Schahrer, Emily and Hodge, Polly J., "La Virgen María y el Niño Fidencio: un análisis literario y cultural de figuras veneradas" (2020). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 422.