Tomorrow begins our novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague. When Fr. David arrived at OLOLSTJ, he brought with him his devotion to the Divine Infant, a sign of Father’s great faith in our Lord Jesus.
Before we embark upon the first novena of 2022, I thought I’d share some background. The following is from a prayer card produced by Tan Books and Publishers.
Devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague is devotion to the Child Jesus. It is veneration of the Son of God, who in the form of an infant chose a stable for a palace, a manger for a cradle, and shepherds for worshippers. Our Savior grants special graces to all who venerate His Sacred Infancy. The image of the Child Jesus known as the “Infant Jesus of Prague” was in reality of Spanish origin. In the 17th century, this beautiful statue was brought to Bohemia by a Spanish princess whose mother had given it to her as a wedding gift. This noble lady, in turn, presented the image to her daughter. When the latter‘s husband died in 1623, she resolved to spend the remainder of her days in works of piety and charity. She was particularly generous to the Carmolite priests and brothers of Prague who, after Emperor Ferdinand II, the founder, had removed his residence to Vienna, fell into such utter destitution that at times they had scarcely enough to eat. Accordingly, she presented her beloved statue to the religious With these prophetic words: “I hereby give you what I prize most highly in this world. As long as you venerate this image, you will not be in want.” Her prediction was verified. As long as the Divine Infant was venerated, God showed Himself as a kind helper through His Son, and the community prospered spiritually and temporally. But when the devotion to the Infant was relaxed, God‘s blessings seem to depart from the house.
So many graces have been received by those who invoke the Divine Child before the original statue that it has been called “The Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague.” We read the following in an old book printed in Kempt: “All who approach the miraculous statue and pray there with confidence receive assistance in danger, consolation in sorrows, aid in poverty, comfort in anxiety, light in spiritual darkness, streams of grace in dryness of soul, health in sickness, and hope in despair.“ In thanksgiving for the numerous graces and cures received, the miraculous statue at Prague was solemnly crowned on the Sunday after Easter, in 1665. What is said of the original statue may be applied also for the images of the “Little King“ which are venerated the world over. From small beginnings, this devotion has grown to great proportions. The Divine Child attracts and ever-increasing number of clients, who appeal to Him in every need.