Devotion to the Infant Jesus celebrates the great mystery of the Incarnation. By honouring the Infancy of Our Lord, we acknowledge the humanity and the divinity of Christ, and we rejoice in God's caring love for us.
The Holy Infant Jesus of Prague
Devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus has grown as due to the miracles obtained through the veneration of the Holy Infant of Prague.
In 1637 Fr. Cyril found an abandoned statue of the Holy Infant which had broken hands. He was filled with wonder as he contemplated the God who became a child out of love for his people. Suddenly the statue spoke to the stunned Carmelite:
HAVE MERCY ON ME AND I WILL HAVE MERCY ON YOU. GIVE ME HANDS AND I WILL GIVE YOU PEACE. THE MORE YOU HONOUR ME, THE MORE I WILL BLESS YOU.
For almost four centuries this promise has inspired devotion and love Of the Infant Jesus. The original statue is preserved in the church of Our Lady of Victory in Prague.
The statue is nineteen inches tall, made of wood and wax. It represents the Infant Jesus dressed in royal robes and wearing a crown.
INFANT OF PRAGUE NOVENA PRAYER
0 Jesus, Who has said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, through the intercession of Mary, your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.
(Make your petition)
0 Jesus, Who has said, "All that you ask of the Father in My Name, He will grant you," through the intercession of Mary, your Most Holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask your Father in your name that my prayer be granted.
(Make your petition)
0 Jesus, Who has said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass away," through the intercession of Mary, your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your petition)
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Divine Infant Jesus, I know you love me and would never leave me. I thank you for your close presence in my life.
Miraculous Infant, I believe in your promise of peace, blessings, and freedom from want. I place every need and care in your hands.
Lord Jesus, may I always trust in your generous mercy and love. I want to honour and praise you now and forever. Amen.
The Holy Infant Jesus of Prague - Divine child
Infant Jesus of Prague (Czech Pražské Jezulátko)
is a famous statue of infant Jesus located in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Malá Strana, Prague. Its earliest history can be traced back to the year 1628 when a small, 48 centimeters in height, exquisite statue of wax Infant Jesus was brought into Bohemia by Polyxena von Lobkowitz, who became greatly attached to the Carmelites. This princess had been given the statue as a wedding gift by her mother, Maria Manriquez de Lara of Spain, and the statue was given to the Discalced Carmelites in Prague. Upon presenting it, the pious princess uttered a prophetic statement to the religious: "Venerable Fathers, I bring you my dearest possession. Honor this image and you shall never want". The statue was set upon the oratory of the monastery of Our Lady of Victory, Prague, where special devotions to Jesus were offered before it twice a day. The Carmelite novices voluntarily became poor and professed their poverty fervently during devotions in the presence of the Divine Infant.
Upon hearing of the Carmelites' devotions and needs, the Emperor Ferdinand II of the House of Habsburg sent along 2,000 Florins and a monthly stipend for their support.
In 1630 the Carmelite novitiate was transferred to Munich. With the transfer of novices, Prague lost the most ardent devotees of the Infant. Disturbances in Bohemia due to the Thirty Years War brought an end to the special devotions, and on November 15, 1631, the army of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden took a possession of the churches of the capital city of Bohemia. The Carmelite friary was plundered by the Lutheran Protestant Swedish, and the image of the Infant of Prague was thrown into a pile of rubbish behind the altar. Here it lay forgotten, its hands broken off, for seven years until it was found again in 1637 by Father Cyrillus and placed in the church's oratory. One day, while praying before the statue, Father Cyrillus heard a voice say, "Have pity on me, and I will have pity on you. Give me my hands, and I will give you peace. The more you honor me, the more I will bless you." Since then, the statue has remained in Prague and has drawn many devotees worldwide to go and honor the Holy Child. Claims of blessings, favors and miraculous healings have been made by many who petitioned before the Infant Jesus. Statuettes of the Infant Jesus are placed inside many Catholic churches, sometimes with the quotation, "The more you honor me, the more I will bless you."
A copy of this statuette is placed in the University Chapel in Naples, Italy with the information on the original Prague's statuette.
The Infant Jesus of Prague as it appears during the Lenten season in Our Lady of Victory Church.
The exact origin of the Infant Jesus statue is not exactly known, but historical sources point to a small 48 cm high sculpture of the Holy Child with a bird in his right hand carved in around the year 1340. Many other Infant Jesus sculptures were also carved by famous masters throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.
Today, thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Infant of Prague each year. The tradition of the Infant Jesus procession and the coronation continues to this day. This ceremony is the closing highlight of the annual Feast of the Infant Jesus in Prague.
In Ireland some brides will place an Infant of Prague statue outside their house the night before their wedding. This is meant to ensure that there will be good weather for the wedding day