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Infant Jesus of Prague

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 Swedes, 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.


Novena to the Infant of Prague

Part of a series of articles on
Roman Catholic
Devotions to Christ

Christ Hagia Sofia.jpg

Overview of Devotions
Holy Face
Sacred Heart
Divine Mercy
Eucharistic adoration
Holy Name
Acts of Reparation
Holy Wounds
Rosary of Holy Wounds
Stations of the Cross
Precious Blood
Infant of Prague

Prayers to Jesus
Anima ChristiShoulder WoundSacred Heart prayerYou are ChristVianney's prayerPerboyre's prayerMontfort's prayerCrucifix prayer

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 my 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)


  • Emericus a S. Stephano O.Carm.Disc.: Pragerisches Gross und Klein. Das ist: Geschichtes-Verfassung dess in seinen seltsamen Gnaden, scheinbaren Wunder Zeichen, Wunder-würdigen Begebenheiten Grossen ... (Prague 1737). Accessible through Dpt. of manuscripts and old printed books, National library of the Czech Republic. Sig. 51-G-39. (This is the original edition of the legend.)
  • Emericus a S. Stephano O.Carm.Disc.: Pražské Weliké a Malé. To gest Wejtah Příběhův ... (Prague 1749). This is the first Czech translation of the upper one.
  • The Infant of Prague, by the Reverend Ludvik Nemec, Benziger Brothers, Inc, 1958.
  • Miraculous Images of Our Lord, by Joan Carroll Cruz, OCDS, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc, 1995. ISBN 0-89555-496-8
  • Holy Infant Jesus, by Ann Ball & Damian Hinojosa, The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2006. ISBN 0-8245-2407-1
  • The INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE and Its Veneration, by Rev. H Koneberg, O.S.B. Translated from the Seventh Revised Edition of Rev. Joseph Mayer, C.SS.R Catholic Book Publishing Co. New York, N.Y. Nihil Obstat: John M. Fearns, S.T.D. Censor Librorum Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archiepiscopus Neo Eboracensis Sept 16,1946

See also

Infant Jesus of Prague in Notre Dame Church (Joinville, France)

External links



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