“The more you honor me, the more I will bless you.” These are the words that Father Cyril of the Mother of God, O.C.D., a Carmelite priest, heard from a statue of the Infant Jesus in 1637. January 14th is a date of honor for the Infant Jesus.
The veneration of the Infant Jesus has a long history starting in the 16th century in Spain. A small statue of Jesus approximately 18 inches tall depicted Jesus at the age of around 4 to 6 years old. Some say that the wax statue was originally venerated in Spain by St. Theresa of Jesus and then was taken to Prague in 1556 as a wedding gift for Polyxena of Lobkovic. In 1628, the statue was donated to the monastery of Discalced Carmelites at the church of Our Lady Victorious. A few years later, the monastery was plundered during an invasion and the Infant Jesus statue was damaged and discarded; however, it was rediscovered in the junk in 1637 by Father Cyril who remembered the statue from his days as a novice at the monastery.
During prayer with the statue, Father Cyril heard the Infant Jesus say, “Have mercy on me and I will have mercy on you. Give me my arms and I will give you my peace. The more you honor me, the more I will bless you.” A few days later, Father Cyril heard these words, “Place me near the entrance of the sacristy and you will receive your aid.” Donations to repair the statue miraculously arrived and Father Cyril coordinated the repair. Following that, many miracles and blessings occurred which were attributed to the Infant Jesus. The veneration of the statue drew many supplicants to the small Carmelite Chapel and, in 1741, the statue was relocated to the larger Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague.
Over the years, the veneration of the statue has spread worldwide and took roots to the greatest extent in Spain, from where the Infant Jesus originated, and Portugal. Thanks to missionaries, colonizers, and European immigrants, the Infant Jesus is known in India, China, the Philippines, and in North and South America.
One of the strongholds of devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague is in the Infant Jesus Church and Shrine in Bangalore, India. The Church was dedicated in 1979, and the adjacent Shrine in 1989; and is now a pilgrimage site built upon the devotion to a statue of a young King: Jesus. The Church and Shrine compound attract many thousands of visitors each year – both Catholics and non-Christians from across the world. Outside of the unusual lockdown periods of the past couple of years related to COVID-19, the site is open year-round with daily Masses in three languages including English; and special Masses and events held on Thursdays with nine Masses in six languages. The period January 4th to January 14th each year is reserved for special activities culminating with the festival celebration of Infant Jesus including a parade of the statue on a palanquin through the local streets; however, in 2022, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual festivities will not occur.
Currently, the Infant Jesus Church in Bangalore is streaming daily Masses in a 9-day Novena leading the celebration of the annual Feast of the Infant Jesus on January 14th. Due to the pandemic restrictions, devotees are not allowed to attend in person, but the sacred Novena Masses are available to all via the YouTube Channel of the Archdiocese of Bangalore at https://www.youtube.com/c/BangaloreArchdiocese. The Masses are recorded and can be viewed at your convenience to worship and ask the Infant Jesus for His assistance.
See prayers to Infant Jesus at https://churchwonders.com/devotions/litanies/prayers-to-infant-jesus/
Read more about Infant Jesus and see images of the statue from across the world at https://churchwonders.com/mary-saints/infant-jesus-of-prague/
Read more about the Infant Jesus Church and Shrine in Bangalore at https://churchwonders.com/india-churches/infant-jesus-church-and-shrine-bangalore-india/
All websites were accessed on or about 1-11-2022 and are considered to be useful, reliable and secure, but users should view the websites at their own discretion. The author or the website https://www.churchwonders.com is not responsible for those sites’ code or content.
The House of Lobkowicz – https://www.lobkowicz.cz/en/lobkowicz-palace-history
The League of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague – https://www.infantprague.org/the-story-of-the-infant-of-prague/
The Official Site of the Infant Jesus of Prague – http://www.pragjesu.cz/en