On 6 January 1840, the Feast of the Three Kings, Sister Magdalena knelt before a nativity scene in her convent in Mexico
City, contemplating the Christ Child in the manger. She then had a thought: if we honor Jesus' infancy, why not that of His
dear Mother? She was not familiar with the "Maria Bambina" devotion across the sea in Italy.
Suddenly, a lovely little girl appeared before her, dressed like a tiny princess and reclining in thin air! Sister Magdalena
immediately knew that this beautiful child was the Virgin Mary, appearing to her in the form of a baby.
The Infant Mary seemed to be telling her "I will grant great graces to whoever honors me in my infancy".
The astonished nun went to the abbess and told her of her vision and her desire to promote devotion to little Mary. The
abbess did not quite share Sister Magdelena's excitement, so the devotion was not promoted right away. But Magdelena kept
praying for God to bring it about.
Eventually, Sister Magedlena did receive permission to ask a local sculptor to fashion a statue of the Infant Mary. Once
she received the image she began to spread the devotion. Many people experienced miracles through the intercession of little
Mary, but others questioned the suitability of such a devotion.
The case was eventually brought before Pope Gregory XVI, who approved the devotion and even granted indulgences to those
who practiced it! Thus the question of suitability was solved.
Over the decades God performed numerous miracles of healing for those who venerated this statue. Soon an order of nuns
called the Slaves of the Immaculate Child was founded, as well as a priestly order, the Missionaries of the Nativity of Mary.
Both are dedicated to the Immaculate Little Mary, and continue to work for the Church in Mexico and Puerto Rico.