There are four possible days I’ve found when the Infant of Prague is honored: January 3rd (in conjunction with the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus), the second Sunday after the Epiphany (this year on January 22nd), and the first Sunday in May (when the coronation of the statue takes place in Prague; this year on May 6th). For some mysterious reason, I’m also finding sources that say the feast is celebrated the third Sunday in May (this year on May 20th). So take your pick!
But if you’re looking for the perfect day to start a novena to the Infant of Prague, tomorrow is it. This year the second Sunday after the Epiphany is the same day as the Supreme Court ruling (Roe v. Wade) that nationally legalized abortion in the United States 39 years ago.
What a beautiful opportunity for us to pray to the Divine Infant for unborn infants and for the respect of all human life.
When I saw the statue in person, it was arrayed in a brilliantly green garb for the Liturgical Season of Ordinary Time. But even the stunning clothes did not hide the fact that the statue itself is quite simple and coarse.
Whether from its Spanish design, neglect after Swedish invasion or from the mere antiquity of the statue (1500s), the Infant’s face is dark and faded. It wasn’t very similar to the one I was used to seeing in pictures – white in color and delicate in appearance. The authentic statue looks rough and intense.
The architecture of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church is stunning, and in a side stairwell there are large images of the Infant statue wearing a variety of clothing used throughout the years.
Tradition tells us that a Spanish mother gave the original Infant of Prague statue to her princess daughter as a wedding gift. It was later brought to the Czech Republic by the bride, who married a Czech nobleman. After her husband died, she donated the statue to the Discalced Carmelites of Prague. A novice at the time of the statue’s arrival, Fr. Cyril of the Mother of God, later began a great devotion to the Infant Jesus.
It was to Fr. Cyril that the Infant spoke in the presence of the statue: … The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.
The Infant of Prague is invoked for help in health and finances. There is a tradition of placing a coin under the statue in one’s home, praying for success in financial matters.