Special devotion to the Divine Child, originated with the Carmelites in the city of Prague at the beginning of the 16th century. Tradition tells us, that the statue itself, once belonged to Saint Teresa of Jesus.
In 1556 a Spanish noblewoman, by the name of Maria Mendoza, brought the statue with her to Bohemia upon her marriage to a Czech nobleman. Maria had received the statue as a wedding gift from her mother, Dona Isabella, who in turn had received the statue directly from Saint Teresa herself.
Many years later, Maria would in turn, pass on this treasured family heirloom to her daughter, the Princess Polyxena of Lobkowitz.
In 1628 The Princess, after the death of her husband, devoted herself to charitable works, and was particularly helpful to the Carmelites in Prague. It was in this same year, following the effects of the war, which would rage on until 1648, that the Princess bequeathed her precious heirloom of the Statue of the Infant King, to the Discalced Carmelite Friars, saying to them ‘I give you what I prize most highly in the world. ‘Honour this image and you shall never want’. The friars placed the statue in the Carmelite Oratory, and special devotions were offered through the loving devotion of Father Cyril of the Mother of God, who was a novice at the time. As the ravages of war continued, it became necessary for the friars to flee their Monastery, and Prague itself. Thus in 1631, the Carmelite Monastery was pillaged, and the statue of the Infant King was thrown onto a pile of rubbish, his hands broken off. Here the statue lay, where it remained hidden and abandoned for seven years.
In 1637 peace returned to Prague, and the friars were free to return to their Monastery. Father Cyril on his return to the Monastery, began to search everywhere, in the hope of finding the statue that he had been so devoted to. After a time, he found it with it’s broken hands, and in a neglected state. From this time on, Father Cyril re-doubled his devotions to the Infant King statue, and distinctly heard the Christ Child 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 honour me, the more I will bless you’.
Through the generosity of a wealthy benefactor, the money was provided to make the needed repairs to the statue. In time, a beautiful shrine was constructed in the Church of Our Lady of Victories, Prague. Where the Statue of the Infant King is venerated and honoured to this day.
Chaplet of the Infant Jesus of Prague
How to pray the Chaplet of the Infant Jesus of Prague
The chaplet to the Infant Jesus of Prague has 15 beads.
Before praying each of the beads, say:
‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’.
First 3 beads Our Father...in honour of the Holy Family 12 beads Hail Mary...in memory of the 12 years of the Infancy of our Divine Saviour.
Starting at the medal of the Infant Jesus, say:
‘Divine Infant Jesus I adore Thy Cross and I accept all the crosses Thou wilt be pleased to send me. Adorable Trinity, I offer Thee for the glory of The Holy Name of God, all the adorations of the Sacred Heart of the Holy Infant Jesus.’
At the end of the Chaplet say:
'Holy Infant Jesus, bless and protect us.'