Bogota, Colombia: Sanctuary of the Divine Child Jesus
The History of the Sanctuary of the Child Jesus:
The devotion to the Divino Niño in Bogota, Colombia, started with Father John Rizzo, a Salesian priest from Italy. Father John came from the region near Arenzano, Italy, a region which already had a great devotion to the Infant Jesus.
In 1914, the Salesians were building a great church in Barranquilla, Colombia. The Superior asked Father John Rizzo to beg for donations from the local people for the construction of the new church. Father John was very embarrassed to ask for monetary donations because of the immense poverty of the local people, and returned without collecting anything. Again, the next day, his Superior asked him to go out to collect. This time Father knelt in front of the Blessed Mother statue to ask for help. Seeing the child Jesus in her arms, he decided to entrust his efforts to the Child Jesus.
He felt at that moment a great calm and went out to fulfill the work entrusted to him by his Superior. Father John came home that day with the donations he had collected and he felt his trust and confidence in the Child Jesus growing stronger. From that moment on, he trusted in the Child Jesus and prayed to Him before going out to ask for any donations.
On the 25th of December 1937, the cornerstone was blessed for the new church in Bogota. Father John had desired this new church to be very large, but, the Superiors did not want anything too extravagant. Father John would often lament that the plans for the new structure were too small. Due to his vow of obedience, Father John had to resign himself to the plans for the new church. As he had predicted, the large number of people that attended the Sunday services proved all too quickly that the new church was too small.
By 1989, plans were undertaken to construct a new church, much larger than the one built before. The new structure was inaugurated in 1992, thanks to the generosity of the many faithful that frequently visit the church. This new church is called a Sanctuary, a place where many, many miracles have taken place. In these Sanctuaries miracles take place due to the faith of the people, and, that causes even more miracles to take place.
Father John Rizzo died in 1957 but it was his devotion to the Child Jesus that sparked the miracles that take place there everyday.
The statue that we see today in Bogota, was one which Father John himself purchased in Bogota from a local artisan. This beautiful statue of Jesus as a Child, dressed in a pink tunic, with His arms wide open to receive us, and His innocent and loving smile is probably one of the most dear representations of Our Lord’s Infancy; it invokes in us a desire to embrace Him and entrust all our cares into His loving arms.
Click here for the official website of the Sanctuary of Divino Nino. Use the google translate button to read the English version.
While you are on their website, check out their newsletter. The testimonials of modern-day miracles that still occur are shown on their site.
Traveling to the Sanctuary of the Divine Child Jesus in Bogota:
Address: Cra 6 No. 27 – 65 Sur, Bogotá D. C: – Colombia
Tel: +57 (1) 372 5555 Fax: +57 (1) 361 6054 – 373 2471