Close Out Advent with the Infant of Prague Christmas Novena

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Until recently, I was someone who just didn’t “get” the Infant of Prague. It’s a beautiful statue, with a fascinating history, but it took me twenty years to make room for Him. After hearing his stories and having time to visit Prague in 2018, I’m now one of His millions of devoted attendants. In fact, my first Sunday of Advent last year was spent with the Infant of Prague.

This year, however, I’m not able to make another pilgrimage. Still, the end of Advent is a great time to pray and meditate on the Infant Christ through devotion to the Infant of Prague. 

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If you are looking for a way to end Advent and to prepare your heart for the Nativity, I recommend this Novena to the Infant of Prague. 

A Brief History of the Infant of Prague

There are several stories that tell of the holy statue’s origin. The most popular one is that the statue belonged to St. Teresa of Avila, who had a great devotion to the Infant Jesus. While the statue certainly came from Spain, it arrived in Prague with Maria Manriquez de Lara, a Spanish noblewoman, in 1556. Already, the statue was said to be miraculous. It was then given to her daughter, Polyxena of Lobkowicz.

Polyxena witnessed many important events in European history. Throughout these events, she kept the Infant of Prague at Lobkowicz Palace. Here Polyxena gave shelter to Catholic officials who were thrown from a nearby castle window by Protestant defensors in the Second Defenestration of Prague (yes, there was more than one). This signaled the beginning of The Thirty Years War.

Prague endured war, famine, and disease in the following decades. In 1628, Princess Polyxena of Lobkowicz gave the statue to the Discalced Carmelites at the Church of Our Lady of Victories. The pious princess told the friars, “I bring you my dearest possession. Honor this image and you shall never be poor.”

Close Out Advent with the Infant of Prague Christmas Novena

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