Infant Jesus of Prague

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A statue of the Christ Child King that has been preserved since 1628 in the church of Our Lady of Victory in Prague. Carved of wood and covered with wax, it stands 18 inches in height and rests on a broad pedestal. Its left hand encircles a miniature globe surmounted by a cross, and its right hand is extended in the manner of pontifical blessing. The figure appears to represent in symbolical synthesis the idea of the Kingship of Christ and that of the Holy Childhood. The origin of the figure is shrouded in legend. It was brought from Spain to Prague in the 16th century, and in 1628 was presented to the Discalced Carmelites. It became an object of popular devotion that received ecclesiastical approval through its coronation by the bishop of Prague on April 4, 1655, and through generous grants of indulgences.

Bibliography: emmerich of st. stephen, Great and Little One of Prague, ed. l. nemec (Philadelphia 1959). a. m. meyer, The Infant King (St. Meinrad, Ind. 1951). l. nemec, The Infant of Prague: The Story of the Holy Image and the History of the Devotion. (New York 1958).

[l. nemec]