|Curandero, Folk Healer|
|Born||José Fidencio de Jesús Sintora Constatino|
November 18, 1898
|Died||October 19, 1938 (aged 39-40)|
Espinazo, Nuevo León, México
|Venerated in||Fidencista Christian Church, Folk Catholicism|
|Major shrine||Espinazo, Nuevo León, México|
|Patronage||Healings, cures, protection from diseases|
El Niño Fidencio (November 18, 1898 – October 19, 1938) was a Mexican curandero. His birth name was José de Jesús Fidencio Constantino Síntora. Today he is revered by the Fidencista Christian Church. The Catholic Church does not recognize his official status as a saint, but his following has extended through the northern part of Mexico and the southwest of United States. This situation allows El Niño Fidencio to be recognized as a folk saint.
While in elementary school, he met Father Segura, as well as Enrique López de la Fuente, who was the janitor as well as his friend, and later, his protector. They both worked to help the priest with religious services, and it was at this time that Fidencio learned to work with herbs and how to cure.
Adolescence and adult life
In 1912, Enrique and Fidencio left for the city of Morelia, Michoacán, where the latter worked until he decided to join the Mexican Revolution, causing them to be separated for nine years. Fidencio then moved to Loma Sola, Coahuila, where he lived with his sister Antonia.
At the age of fifteen, Fidencio attended school in Mina, Nuevo León, a town close to Espinazo. According to Raúl Cadena, Fidencio did not develop sexually, was always clean-shaven, had a soft voice, and never engaged in sexual activity.
In 1921, Enrique returned from the revolutionary struggle and went to work for Antonio L. Rodríguez at the San Rafael mine in Espinazo. There he had several children, and, needing help in caring for them, went to his childhood friend. Fidencio came to town that year, and remained there for the rest of his life. It was at this point that he began to perform healings.
On February 8, 1928, President Plutarco Elías Calles visited Espinazo and attended a healing session with Niño Fidencio. Although the president's ailment was unknown to the public at the time, Enrique records that he was suffering from nodular leprosy.
Fidencio was famous for operations without anaesthesia without causing pain to patients, and provided cures related to specific parts of town, such as a pepper tree which the congregation threw offerings around, and a mud puddle in which his followers bathed. Subsequent tests revealed that the puddle had a large sulfur content which may have contributed to the healing effects.
According to devotees, Fidencio continues to work miracles through spirit mediums called cajitas or materias.
During his life, a multitude of imitators and impostors appeared, the death of one of whom was mistaken for Fidencio's own. The falsified death was announced by the press, and his funeral prompted a massive outpouring of emotion. His actual death came just over a year later. Decades later, he is still well known in the town of Espinazo, Mina, Nuevo León, where he died, and plays a significant part in the town's economy by generating tourism and the sale of religious objects and services.
- "Niño Santo" series can be watched on NBC Universo
- Quentin Tarantino references Niño Fidencio by name in the movie Death Proof.
- A film about him was directed by Nicolás Echevarría.
- Zócalo Saltillo: Fidencio, falsificado hasta en su muerte, April 11, 2009
- Cadena, Raúl. “Reseña histórica”. El Niño Fidencio. In
- "Fidencio, falsificado hasta en su muerte", Zócalo Saltillo, 11 April 2009