The Info List - Christ Child

The Christ Child, also known as Divine Infant, Baby Jesus, Infant Jesus, Child Jesus, the Holy Child, and Santo Niño, refers to Jesus Christ from his nativity to age 12. The four Canonical Gospels accepted by most Christians today lack any narration of the years between Jesus' infancy and the Finding in the Temple when he was 12.


1 Liturgical feast
Liturgical feast
days 2 Depictions in art

2.1 During the Middle Ages

3 Tàladh Chrìosda 4 In the apocryphal texts 5 As pious image of veneration 6 Gallery 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Liturgical feast
Liturgical feast
days[edit] Liturgical feasts relating to Christ's infancy and the Christ Child include:

The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus
Nativity of Jesus
Christ (25 December); The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ#Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast of the Circumcision of Christ#Eastern Orthodox Church
(1 January - Eastern Orthodox Church); The Feast of the Epiphany (6 January) The Feast of the Santo Niño (Third Sunday in January - Philippines) The Feast of the Presentation in the Temple (2 February)

Depictions in art[edit]

Saint Anthony of Padua adoring the Christ Child. Oil on canvas, 1622 by Antonio de Pereda.

From about the third or fourth century onwards, the child Jesus
is frequently shown in paintings, and sculpture. Commonly these are nativity scenes showing the birth of Jesus, with his mother Mary, and her husband Joseph. Depictions as a baby with the Virgin Mary, known as Madonna and Child, are iconographical types in Eastern and Western traditions. Other scenes from his time as a baby, of his circumcision, presentation at the temple, the adoration of the Magi, and the flight into Egypt, are common.[1] Scenes showing his developing years are more rare but not unknown.

Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, mosaico della Madre di Dio in trono con il Bambino, circondata da quattro angeli. - panoramio

Saint Joseph, Anthony of Padua, and Saint Christopher
Saint Christopher
are often depicted holding the Christ Child. The Christian mystics Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Therese of Lisieux, along with the devotees of Divino Niño such as Mother Angelica
Mother Angelica
and Father Giovanni Rizzo claim to have had apparitions of Jesus
as a toddler. During the Middle Ages[edit] The Christ Child
Christ Child
was a popular subject in European wood sculpture beginning in the 1300s.[2] The popularity of the Christ child was well known in Spain under the title Montanesino after the santero sculptor Juan Martínez Montañés who began the trend. These icons of the Christ Child
Christ Child
was often posed in the contrapposto style in which the positioning of the knees reflected in the opposite direction,[3] similar to ancient depictions of the Roman Emperor. The growth of images being made were quite popular among nobility, while some images were also used to colonize kingdoms such of Spain and Portugal. Colonial images of the Christ child also began to wear vestments, a pious practice developed by the santero culture in later colonial years, carrying the depiction of holding the globus cruciger, a bird symbolizing a soul or the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
or various paraphernalia related to its locality or region.

(on the right with aureole) animating the clay bird toys of his playmates. Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk, Germania, 14th century.

The symbolism of the Child Jesus
in art reached its apex during the Renaissance: the Holy Family
Holy Family
was a central theme in the works of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
and many other masters.[4] Tàladh Chrìosda[edit] Tàladh Chrìosda ( Christ Child
Christ Child
Lullaby) is a Scottish carol from Moidart, Scotland. The Catholic priest
Catholic priest
Father Ranald Rankin, wrote the lyrics for Midnight Mass around the year 1855. He originally wrote 29 verses in Scottish Gaelic, but the popular English translation is limited to five. The melody, Cumha Mhic Arois (lament for Mac Àrois), is from the Hebrides
and was a sung as a protective charm for the fisherman away at sea. The rhythm mirrors the rhythm of the surf. It is sung in the Hebrides
at Midnight Mass of Christmas
Eve. In the apocryphal texts[edit] In some apocryphal texts, the Infancy Gospels
Infancy Gospels
grew up with legendary accounts of the intervening period, and these are sometimes depicted. These stories were intended to show Jesus
as having extraordinary gifts of power and knowledge, even from the youngest age. One common pious tale has the young Jesus
animating sparrows out of clay belonging to his playmates. When admonished for doing so on the Sabbath, he causes the birds to fly away.[5] As pious image of veneration[edit] Several historically significant images of Jesus
Christ as a child have received Canonical Coronations from the Pope, namely the Infant Jesus
of Prague, the Santo Niño de Cebú
Santo Niño de Cebú
in the Philippines, and the Santo Bambino of Aracoeli
Santo Bambino of Aracoeli
in Rome. In the seventeenth century veneration of the Christ Child
Christ Child
under the title the "Little King of Beaune" was promoted by French Carmelites.[6] In the late nineteenth century devotion to the Holy Child of Remedy developed in Madrid.[7] Gallery[edit]

Child Jesus
representing the Passion of Jesus
Christ, c. 1820, Weingarten

Holy Infant of Atocha, Mexico

Santo Bambino Aracoeli Rome

Santissimo Gesu de Malines

See also[edit]

Child Jesus
images in Mexico Divino Niño, Bogota Holy Infant of Good Health Nativity of Jesus Niño Dios of Mexico Santo Niño (other) Santo Niño de Atocha


^ Ferguson, George. Signs & symbols in Christian art, 1966, Oxford University Press US, p.76 ^ "Christ Child", The J.Paul Getty Museum ^ "Contrapposto". Archived from the original on 2015-04-16.  ^ "Holy Family", Encyclopædia Britannica Online ^ Roten, J. and Janssen, T., " Jesus
as a Child" ^ Descouvemont, Pierre., Therese and Lisieux, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996 ISBN 9780802838360 ^ "Brief History of the Holy Child of Remedy", Friends of Anne of St. Bartolomew

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jesus
Christ as a child.

Taladh Criosta

v t e

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Christ Child
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Melchior Caspar Balthazar


Shepherds Herod the Great



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