Infant Jesus of Prague

 The statue of the "Infant Jesus of Prague" is made of wax and wood.  It is 47 cm (about 19 inches) tall and when "undressed" is still dressed in a simple robe.  Its history starts in Spain.  It is the work of an unknown artist, probably going back to the 16th century.

It is believed that it comes from a convent between Cordoba and Seville and is a copy of a venerated wooden sculpture.  There Dona Isabela Manrique de Lara a Mendoza obtained it. The sculpture then traveled as a wedding gift to her daughter Maria Manrique de Lara.  She married a prominent Czech nobleman Vojtech of Pernstejn.  During her travel to meet her new, never met husband, she prayed for a safe journey and a happy marriage.  Since both came through, this was the first miracle performed by the statue.  Later, again as a wedding gift to her daughter Polyxena, who married Vilem of Rozmberk, it became a central point on the private altar of the new bride.  She took the sculpture with her to her second marriage with Zdenek Vojtech of Lobkowicz.  After his death, she donated the statue of the Child Jesus to the monastery of the Teresian Carmelites, to the church of the Virgin Mary the Victorious in Prague Mala Strana.  There it was placed first in the chapel, where it was venerated mainly by the novices.  It is now in one of the many altars of the church, taking a prominent, richly gilded position on your left, as you come in. 

The statue has become a symbol of Prague.  It is a favorite sight to visit for people coming in from all over the world, especially Spain, certainly due to its Spanish heritage.  We are proud of the fact that our "Infant Jesus of Prague" has become the Patriot Saint of the country of the Philippines.  In Italy, he is called the "Bambini de Praga" and also celebrated. 

  The statue apparently performed many miracles and still does.  Supposedly, when Polyxena of Rozmberk would not conceive, she prayed to the statue to become pregnant.  Eventually, she did have several children, with her new husband Zdenek Vojtech, but attributed this fact to a miracle that the statue bestowed on her.  Many "want to be mothers" pray at his feet even today for the same blessing.  There are many plagues on the wall thanking the "Infant Jesus of Prague" for the same miracle in the donors life.

The statue today has a wardrobe of immense value and beauty.  His richly adorned and decorated vestments are donated by different people, countries, institutions and the like.  Some are on display in the museum in the church.  The nuns change his robes into the colors suitable for that particular religious holiday.  For example, he wears white for Christmas.  The robe changing ceremony has been recorded and the film is on display in the museum.

The giftshop in the church is open during most days and all artifacts about the "Infant Jesus of Prague", such as books, copies of all sizes and made of all kinds of materials are for sale here.

Please contact the churches' website for more information and details.  The priests of the "Church of the Virgin Mary the Victorious" is happy to welcome all visitors and should you want to meet with one of them, meetings have been possible. 

 

Please contact the church.  www.karmel.at/prag-jesu/english/firsten.htm

 

 

 

 

 


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