THE HISTORY OF THE DEVOTION
Written by Charito Yeh
victory of the
Counter-Reformation in the Czech lands, Emperor Ferninand II
handed the church over to the Order of the Descalced Carmelites. It
is consecrated to our Lady Victorious and originally also to
St. Anthony of Padua.
was relocated to the opposite side and a new early Baroque front was built.
This reconstruction had meant the introduction of early Baroque in Prague
years this statue has been enshrined on a side altar of the church. Here the
religious sought relief in their bitter need from Him who for love of
humankind had become poor. And the prediction of Lady Polyxena was
verified. As long as the Divine Infant Jesus was venerated, God showed
Himself a kind helper though his Son and the community prospered both
spiritually and temporally.
particular devotee was Father Cyrillus who was most devoted to the
Infant Jesus and found sudden relief from interior trials through this
The 30 years war - Baroque Era
devotion to the Divine Infant was short-lived. During the
Thirty-years war, the Saxons and the Swedes took turns to invade Prague
and pillaged both the church and the monastery; the special devotion held
before the image was gradually neglected; the prosperity of the community.
declined and need and distress was felt; the Carmelites, the other novices,
and the most fervent worshipper of the Infant Jesus of Prague had departed;
and the veneration to the Holy Child totally and completely ceased.
the Carmelite Monastery plundered, the image of the Infant Jesus of Prague
was thrown upon a heap of rubbish behind the high altar. Both hands were
broken off by the fall, but though made of wax, it was otherwise
undamaged. Here the Divine Infant lay, stayed and forgotten by all for
period, Prague experienced more wars and unrest, but the church and the
Infant Jesus chapel was miraculously protected. In 1776, the
altar was rebuilt using marble and two huge sculptures of the Blessed Virgin
Mary and St. Joseph were placed to the left and right sides of the altar.
The Holy Infant was left in a glass case standing in a pedestal engraved
with crystals and surrounding the Infant were twenty angels in gold.
Pentecost holidays in 1637, Father Cyrillus returned to Prague from
Munich and lived there until his death in 1675. And after a prolonged
search, he found the broken, abandoned, long-last treasure almost buried in
dust. Full of joy and gratitude, he kissed the disfigured statue and placed
it on an altar in the oratory.
long forgotten devotion were now revived with renewed vigor. One day, while
praying before the statue, he distinctly heard these words, "Have
pity on me, and I will have pity on you. Give me my hands, and I will give
you peace. The more you honour me, the more I will bless you."
After great efforts and much hardships, he had the Infant Jesus hands
"Little Prague Baby" again became an object of
worship of believers and many extraordinary events were attributed to it. And
ever since the statue was fixed, a number of miracles had occurred and the
word began to spread, resulting in a large number of veneration to the Holy
thanksgiving for the numerous graces and cures received, the consecrating
Bishop of Prague solemnly crowned the Holy Infant on April 14, 1655
on a Sunday after Easter as a sign emphasizing the royal and
divine dignity of God who has become a child.
anniversary of this coronation has been celebrated ever since with a festive
mass on the Ascension holiday which is the culmination of the Easter
mystery considered by the New Testament to be the real coronation in the
glory and the fulfillment of God's Incarnation.
to the royal Christ Child under the title of the Infant Jesus of Prague
is one of the more powerful and beloved devotions in the church.
has grown proportion and has continued to spread throughout the world. Many
favours and graces were received which brought thousands of people to his
Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague is adorned by believers not only in
Europe, but also in India, in the Philippines, in
Australia and especially Latin American countries. A testimony to
this veneration are the many sanctuaries all over the world further
spreading the fame of this little statue and the reverence for the
Incarnation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God.
Some Helpful Resources
Learn about Saints & Angels
A great resource to learn more about St. Anthony of Padua , St. Teresa of
Avila or St. Therese of the Child Jesus is the Great Saints website located
Catholic Online Saints and Angels.
Catholic Traditions Q&A
The "definitive" site to visit for all your Catholic needs is the Catholic