The charming statue of the Child Jesus, displayed for people to venerate in the church of Our Lady of Victory in the Lesser Town district of Prague, receives visitors from dozens of countries from all over the world every day. Many people who have prayed to God before the statue have had their prayers answered in miraculous and unusual ways.
Infant Jesus of Prague statue in French Church (photo by Vassil)
People come to pray for help, healing, or peace; some come in trust expecting the birth of a child; and many return to give thanks.
Monastery of the Infant Jesus of Prague
The statue is about 18.5" (47 cm) high and made out of wood with the surface modeled in colored wax. It represents a small child, clothed in a long robe below which his bare feet can be seen. His sweet face attracts visitors through its beauty. The right hand of the Infant Jesus is raised in blessing, while his left hand holds a sphere surmounted by a cross – the whole of our universe rests in his hands.
His royal insignia express the faith that all Christians have in common – the faith in the divinity of Jesus. In him almighty God himself, ruler over all things, became a human being.
The Infant Jesus of Prague originally came from Spain. The legend tells that the Infant Jesus appeared miraculously to a certain monk, who modeled the statue based on the appearance of the apparition. According to another legend the statue belonged to St. Teresa of Avila, the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, who was aflame with a great love for the Child Jesus. She is said to have given the statue to a friend of hers, whose daughter was setting out to travel to Prague.
When the Duchess Maria Manrique de Lara came to Bohemia to marry a Bohemian nobleman in 1556, she received the statue from her mother as a wedding gift. When her daughter Polyxena of Lobkowicz was widowed, she gave the precious statue to the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites attached to the church of Our Lady of Victory in 1628.
The Carmelites placed the statue in the novitiate chapel, so that the young monks could learn from the virtues of the Child Jesus. At that time the Thirty Years' War was raging through Europe and even the Infant Jesus was not spared when the Saxon army occupied Prague in 1631.
It was only after his return to Prague in 1637 that Father Cyril of the Mother of God, originally from Luxemburg, discovered the statue, abandoned in a corner. To his sorrow, however, he found that the Infant Jesus had had both hands broken off. At this moment it seemed to him that the Infant Jesus was saying to him:
“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.”
Eventually Father Cyril had new hands made for the Infant Jesus. The gold coin invested in this was returned many times over, as the Child Jesus began to bless the monastery, the local people, and the whole of Prague. Miraculous healings were attributed to him, as was the protection of Prague when it was laid siege to by the Swedes in 1639.
In 1651 the statue was carried as a pilgrim round all the churches in Prague and in 1655 it was solemnly crowned by the Bishop of Prague. This event is still remembered today on the anniversary feast-day, falling on the first Sunday in May.
The Infant Jesus of Prague as it appears during the Lenten season in Our Lady of Victory Church
The above information came from the official website of the Infant Jesus of Prague. Prayer of Father Cyril
O Infant Jesus, I run to You,
begging You through Your Holy Mother
to save me in this need
(you may name it here),
for I truly and firmly believe
that Your Divinity can defend me.
Full of trust I hope in You
to obtain Your holy grace.
I love You with all my heart,
I am painfully sorry for my sins
and on my knees I beg You,
o Little Jesus, to free me from them.
My resolution is to improve
and never more to offend You.
Therefore, I offer myself to You,
ready to suffer everything for You
and to serve You faithfully.
I will love my neighbor as myselfNovena to the Infant of Prague
from my heart for the love of You.
O Little Jesus, I adore You,
o Mighty Child, I implore You,
save me in this need
(you can mention it here),
that I may enjoy You eternally,
with Mary and Joseph see You
and with all the angels adore You.
This prayer is recited at the same time every hour for nine consecutive hours in one day. It is used by supplicants with urgent requests that cannot wait for the nine days required for most novenas.
O Jesus, You have 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 request)
O Jesus, You have 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 request)
O Jesus, you have said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass." Through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your request)
I prostrate myself before Thy Holy Image, O most gracious Infant Jesus, to offer thee my most fervant thanks for the blessings Thou hast bestowed upon me. I shall incessantly praise Thine ineffable mercy and confess that Thou alone art my God, my Helper and my Protector.
Henceforth, my entire confidence shall be placed in Thee! Everywhere, I shall proclaim aloud Thy mercy and generosity, so that Thy great Love and the great deeds which Thou dost perform through this miraculous image may be acknowledged by all.
May devotion to Thy Holy Infancy increase more and more in the hearts of all Christians, and may all who experience Thine assistance persevere with me in showing unceasing gratitude to Thy Most Holy Infancy, to which be praise and glory forever. Amen
Thank you, Infant Baby Jesus of Prague and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for granting my request. I will always be dedicated to You Dear Jesus and have faith that You will always be by my side. Your faithful servant (state your name)
More information about the Infant Jesus of Prague can be found at:
the official website of the Infant Jesus of Prague
and the new The Infant Jesus of Prague website.
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