Commence on the medal saying:
Divine infant Jesus,
I adore Thy Cross
and I accept all the crosses
Thou wilt be pleased to send me.
I offer Thee,
for the glory of Thy Holy Name of God,
All the adorations of the Sacred Heart
of the Holy Infant Jesus.
Here kiss the medal. Then on each bead of the pendant say:
Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. Amen
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Holy Infant Jesus, bless and protect us.
On each of the twelve beads of the circlet say:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Holy Infant Jesus, bless and protect us.
During each ‘Hail Mary’ meditate on one of the twelve mysteries of Jesus’ childhood:
The Incarnation of the Son of God
The life in the womb of the Virgin Mary
The birth in Bethlehem
The adoration by the shepherds
The circumcision of the Lord
The adoration by the three Magi
The presentation in the Temple
The flight to Egypt
The stay in Egypt
The return to Nazareth
The hidden life in Nazareth
The twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple
Conclude on the medal saying:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end.
Holy Infant Jesus bless and protect us!
Venerable Margaret of the Most Holy Sacrament
Venerable Margaret of the Most Holy Sacrament, a French Discalced Carmelite (died 26 May 1648 in the Carmel in Beaune) reported that Our Lord had taught her to pray this short rosary. He asked her to make it known among the faithful and promised special graces, above all purity of heart and innocence, to all who carried the chaplet on their person and recited it in honor of the mysteries of his holy childhood. The chaplet consists of: 12 beads forming a circlet – each one represents a year in the infancy and childhood years of Our Lord. Three pendant beads representing the life of the Holy family at Nazareth and a medal of the Infant of Prague.
The statue arrives at Prague
One legend tells that the Infant Jesus appeared miraculously to a certain monk, who modelled the statue based on the appearance of the apparition. Another legend records that the statue belonged to St. Teresa of Avila, the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, who was aflame with a great love for the Child Jesus. She is said to have given the statue to a friend of hers, whose daughter was setting out to travel to Prague.
When the Duchess Maria Manrique de Lara came to Bohemia to marry a Bohemian nobleman in 1556, she received the statue from her mother as a wedding gift. When her daughter Polyxena of Lobkowicz was widowed, determined to devote herself to good works, she was particularly generous to the Carmelite Order at Prague which had fallen into destitution after their founder, the Emperor Ferdinand II had removed his Court to Vienna. She gave the precious statue to the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites attached to the church of Our Lady of Victory in 1628, with the words:
‘I hereby give you what I prize most highly in this world. As long as you venerate this image you will not be in want.’
The statue was placed in the novitiate chapel, so that young monks could learn from the virtues of the Child Jesus. In 1628 when the statue was presented to the convent, the religious conflict known as the Thirty Years War was at its height. The bitterness and hatred between Catholic and Protestant resulted in bloodshed and horror, overwhelming much of Europe and causing widespread devastation to cities including Prague. In 1631 when Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and his Saxon allies invaded Prague, the Carmelite monastery was looted and despoiled and the Carmelites thrown into prison. Only when peace was restored in 1637 were the the Carmelites able to return to their monastery. They found that the precious statue of the Infant Jesus was missing.
Cyril of the Mother of God, who had a great devotion to the Holy Infant, immediately searched for his beloved statue and found it thrown behind an altar. it was a shadow of its former beauty; dirty, disfigured and with both its hands broken off. He placed it in its former position of honour in the choir and he later recounted that when he was praying before it he heard the Infant Jesus was saying to him:
‘Have mercy on me and I will have mercy on you. Give me hands and I will give you peace. The more you honour me, the more I will bless you’.
Eventually Father Cyril had new hands made for the Infant Jesus. The gold coin invested in this was returned many times over, as the Child Jesus began to bless the monastery, the local people, and the whole of Prague. Miraculous healings were attributed to him, as was the protection of Prague when it was laid siege to by the Swedes in 1639. In 1648, the year of the treaty of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years War, the Cardinal of Prague solemnly blessed the chapel and encouraged devotion to the statue throughout Bohemia. This devotion soon spread all over Europe, and countless reproductions were made of the original statue during the following centuries In 1651 the statue was carried as a pilgrim round all the churches in Prague and in 1655 it was solemnly crowned by the Bishop of Prague. This event is still remembered today on the anniversary feast-day, falling on the first Sunday in May. Since that time the statue has remained at the church drawing pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. Many graces, blessings, favours and miracles of healing have been reported by those who have offered their petitions before the image of the Infant Saviour.
Prayer to the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague – believed to have been given by Our Lady to the Venerable Father F. Cyril OCD
O Infant Jesus, I have recourse to You and ask You through the intercession of Your Holy Mother to help me in my need, (mention it here) for I firmly believe that Your Divinity can help me.I hope, in complete trust, to obtain Your holy grace. I love You with all my heart and with all the strength of my soul. I am truly sorry for all my sins, and beg You, O good Jesus, to give me strength to conquer them. I shall never offend You and I am ready to suffer rather than to cause You pain.
From now on I want to serve with complete faithfulness and for love of You, O Divine Child, I will love my neighbour as well as myself. Omnipotent Child, Lord Jesus, again I implore You, help me in this need of mine (mention it).
Grant me the grace of possessing You eternally, with Mary and Joseph and of adoring You with the holy angels in Your heavenly court. Amen
Venerable Marguerite & the Chaplet
In 1648 at the close of this dreadful period in Christian history, a Carmelite nun died in France. It is with her that is found the origins of the devotion of this Chaplet. Venerable Marguerite of the Blessed Sacrament (1619-1648) whose life was lived entirely contemporary with the religious wars, had been devoted to the Child Jesus even when she was still a child herself. She reported having a vision of Him when she was only five years of age. She entered the Carmelite Order on the day of her first Holy Communion, being then but twelve years of age. Marguerite was soon found to be suffering from extraordinary physical convulsions, rigidity and fear. This was diagnosed according to the light of the times as manifestations of the persecution of the devil. She seems to have been cured, but, due to the ineptitude of the doctors was left with a lifelong tendency to severe head pains.
Soon Marguerite was experiencing visions and ecstasies. She began to experience in her spirit the mysterious life of Christ as it unfolded in the regular round of the liturgical Year. Her life and the various instances of visions and ecstasies were recorded by her superiors. Marguerite proclaimed that Christ had spoken to her and said:
‘The wonders of My Infancy will be resplendent in you. I have chosen you to honour My Infancy and the mysteries of Bethlehem and Nazareth.’
In her visions Jesus would refer to her as the ‘Little Spouse of the Infant Jesus’.
On 24 March 1636 Marguerite founded an Association of the Family of the Infant Jesus. This followed a vision in which the Lord had told her:
‘I wish you to institute an association of which I will inspire the rules … this association will be My family, the Family of the Infant Jesus, this is the title you shall give it.’
The Carmelite Order was renowned for its devotion to the Infant Jesus and so it was appropriate that Our Lord, under the form of his Divine Infancy, should reveal firstly to a Carmelite how pleasing was such adoration to Him. Members of the association were to honour the Infancy (or first twelve years) of the life of Jesus. Nine persons were selected to participate in a devotion honouring the nine months the unborn Child spent in the womb of His blessed Mother. They consecrated themselves to the Infant at midnight on 24 March, the Eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, and the start of the nine months the Divine Child grew within His Mother’s womb. From that original nine the association attracted much interest so that by 1665 it recorded 3,000 members. In that year on the Sunday following Easter, the image was solemnly crowned.
The statue was finally moved to the altar on the Epistle (south) side of the church in 1741. The wax statue is 19″ (47cm) tall and stands high above the elaborate altar shrine. The right hand is raised in blessing while the left hand holds an orb indicating sovereignty. The statue is clothed in vestments according to the four colours of the liturgical year: white, red, purple and green. In order to change these a priest or bishop climbs a ladder to reach the statue from its high vantage point over the altar; quite a dangerous manoeuvre when dressed in cassock, alb and vestments!