The Infant Jesus of Prague
Although there isn’t a definitve history of the Infant Jesus statue, there ae some historical sources that describe a small 48 cm high sculpture of the Holy Child with a bird in his right hand carved in around the year 1340. But there are many other Infant Jesus sculptures carved by famous masters throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. Our statue of the Infant Jesus is stored in the church of Our Lady of Victory in the Lesser Town. The statue of the Infant Jesus is 47 cm high and it was made out of wood with the surface modeled in colored wax. It represents a small child dressed in a long robe under which his bare feet can be seen. The right hand of the Infant Jesus is raised in blessing and his little left hand holds a sphere surmounted by a cross – the whole of our universe rests in his hands. His royal insignia expresses the faith in the divinity of Jesus.
Origin of the Infant Jesus of Prague
According to historical sources the Infant Jesus of Prague originally came from Spain. According to legend the Infant Jesus appeared miraculously in front of one monk, who modeled a statue based on the appearance of the apparition. But there is also another legend which describes the statue belonging to St. Teresa of Avila, the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, who was known for her great love for the Infant Jesus. She is said to have given the statue to a friend of hers, whose daughter travelling to Prague.
It is said that people who have prayed to God in front of the statue have had their prayers answered in miraculous and unusual ways. Many people come here to pray for help, healing, or peace; some of them come in trust expecting the birth of a child, and many of them return to give thanks. The Infant Jesus statue is famous worldwide. For example in the 19th century the fame of this miraculous statue became widespread throughout Spanish speaking countries of South America, in Italy, as well as distant Asian countries whose inhabitants give thanks to the Infant Jesus for miracles. In some monasteries they used a special liturgical prayer dedicated to the Infant Jesus of Prague.
Infant Jesus of Prague Nowadays
Nowadays thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Infant Jesus of Prague each year. In 1995 a ceremonial procession of the Infant Jesus took place in the streets of Prague with Cardinal Sin of Manila from Philippines and Cardinal Vlk of Prague leading the procession. This ceremony was the closing highlight of the annual Feast in honor of the Infant Jesus of Prague.