The devotion to Infant Jesus has a long history beginning with the Nativity at Bethlehem and leading to the veneration of the Infant Jesus of Prague statue starting in the 16th century. The mystery of the all-powerful God coming to earth as a helpless human infant has captured the hearts and minds of devotees since the dawn of Christianity. Many churches across the world are dedicated to Infant Jesus and many more have a statue of the Infant Jesus on display for contemplation and prayer. Shown below are four churches with a special devotion to Infant Jesus. You can read more about the history of the devotion to Infant Jesus at https://churchwonders.com/mary-saints/infant-jesus-of-prague/.
The Infant Jesus Church dedicated in 1979 and the Infant Jesus Shrine constructed about a decade later attract thousands of devotees and pilgrims to the sacred site each year. The modern open-air church contains a large altar-piece illustrating the birth of the Christ-Child in the manger in Bethlehem with rays of grace beaming down on the Holy Family, as well as a smaller image of Infant Jesus surrounded by glowing lights. The adjacent Shrine houses a large image of the Infant Jesus whose garments are changed to reflect the liturgical occasion. The Church, Shrine and surrounding courtyard are filled to capacity on feast days and holidays at this multi-faith pilgrimage site.
An unassuming church building in a South Sacramento neighborhood is the only church dedicated to the Infant Jesus in northern California. The peaceful interior of the church houses a lovely encased Shrine to Infant Jesus that is modeled after the traditional Infant Jesus of Prague statue. The Kingship of the Holy Child is shown with His dress of a royal robe, a cross-topped crown on His head and a cross-topped blue globe in His left hand. His right hand is raised in blessing. The church also houses images of other saints important in the Syro-Malabar tradition including that of St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Alphonsa and St. Sebastian.
A stone-faced church in a Czech enclave in southeast Nebraska holds a lovely traditional statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague in a niche alongside Jesus displaying His Sacred Heart. Although the Infant Jesus devotion originated in Spain, it took root in what is now called the Czech Republic, and as such, is a very popular devotion with people of Czech heritage. The well-kept church also has images of several saints important to Czechs including: St. Wenceslaus, St. Ludmila, St. John Nepomucene, St. Cyril and St. Methodius. The serene church is a welcoming place for prayer and contemplation of the Blessed Sacrament along with the images of the beautiful Czech-heritage saints.
The golden cross atop the white steeple over the treetops in the village of Tobias Nebraska is visible for miles around. The white-clapboard Gothic-Revival design is a familiar site in many small towns across the Midwest, but the treasure of this building lies inside. On the eastern end of the church beneath a pointed-arch ceiling sits a high altar installed in 1913. The centerpiece of the altar is a statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague dressed in a white, gold-adorned garment in a red cape. The revered image, in this and many Czech-Catholic churches, raises His right hand in supplication and holds a blue orb (the Earth) in the protection of His left hand.