Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague has been the
home of the Infant Jesus for the last 4 centuries. The original Carmelite Monastery
of Our Lady of the Victory in Mala Strana in Prague was its first resting place.
In the year 1631 the Saxons invaded Prague and the plundering did not bypass the
monastery. The sculpture of the Child Jesus was thrown
out with the waste behind the High Altar. Here Father Cyril a Matre Dei found
it when he returned to the abandoned church in Mala Strana from München.
The sculpture was damaged. After many attempts in vain, Father Cyril was happy
to get some money from a Prague citizen for repairing the broken arms. The Infant
Jesus thus became again the object of worship and a number of miracles
were linked to the statue and also the protection of Prague from the Swedes.
first the Infant Jesus was placed in the chapel of
the Holy Rood. In 1741 because of the great number
of pilgrims, it was transfered to the side altar of St. Joachim and St. Anne,
opposite the miraculous picture of the Virgin Mary of Mantua. The Altar in its
construction shows two lines. The vertical line goes from the Holy Ghoste via
God the Father to the Child Jesus. The other - horizontal line passes from the
Virgin Mary over the Child Jesus to St. Joseph. These represent the two levels
of the human and the divine family. At that time small silver pieces like links
were placed around as signs of thanksgiving. This peaceful time did not last long.
After the death of the Empress Mary Theresa, her son Joseph II. followed her on
the throne in Austria. He abolished the Carmelite monastery on July 3rd 1784.
The church became a parish, that was administered by the Maltese Knights.
the 19th century the fame of the miraculous
Infant Jesus spread to the Spanish speaking countries of South America
and Italy. And not only there! In some monasteries they used a special liturgical
prayer to the Infant Jesus of Prague. Many far away Asiatic countries are thanking
the Infant Jesus for miracles, like the Philippines,
China and Vietnam.