For believers, the statue representing the Infant Jesus has a priceless value. It shows God who became a human in the form of a child. The pilgrims who pray to the statue at the Church of Our Lady of Victory think the statue has a miraculous power.
The Infant Jesus of Prague enjoys perhaps the greatest respect from all the bambinos all over the world. Every year, two million pilgrims from Europe, India, the Philippines, Africa and South America come to pay their respect to the statue. Many come to pray for health, blessings or help in need. Many of them come back to honour the infant Jesus after their prayers had been heard.
When and where to see the statue?
The Infant Jesus of Prague can be found in the Church of Our Lady of Victory in the Lesser Quarter. You can come to see the rare statue every day from 8.30 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Sunday to 8 p.m. Admission is voluntary. You can also visit the Museum of the Infant Jesus of Prague exhibiting the bambino’s clothes and unique sacral objects. The Museum is open from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., always outside the times of church services.
To get to the Church of Our Lady of Victory, you can take trams 20, 22, 23, 15 or 12 to Hellichova Street stop. If you go from Lesser Quarter Square, get off right in front of the church. If you go from Újezd Street, walk from the stop to the church for about 100 metres.
A rare gift from Spain
The Infant Jesus is guided by the Order of the Carmelites from the Church of Our Lady of Victory who live in the adjacent monastery. The wax figure was owned by the Spanish Duchess and lady-in-waiting Marie Manrique de Lara y Mendoza who gave it to her daughter – Polyxana of Lobkovice. She donated the statue to the Carmelite community in Prague in 1628. 17 years after the foundation of the church and eight years after the Carmelites came to Prague, the church became one of the main places of pilgrimage of the Prague Archdiocese.
The unique gentle expression
The figure of the Infant Jesus is an example of the contemporary culture in Spain (it was made in the mid-16th century). It has a great historical and artistic value. The Infant Jesus is also very important to believers. In Europe and other places in the world, many places to worship the Infant Jesus of Prague and its faithful copies were established. None of them, however, could copy its specific and unique expression.
The Infant Jesus who rules the world
The 47cm tall sculpture presents the barefoot Infant Jesus with blond curly hair at the age of four or five, standing in a white shirt on a wooden pedestal. He gives blessings with his right hand and holds an orb with a cross as a symbol of his reign in his left hand. The statue base is made of wood and covered with cloth. Its surface with fine details was modelled from coloured wax.
Extensive wardrobe of the Infant Jesus of Prague
The public knows the Infant Jesus dressed in a royal robe with a crown. The Carmelite Sisters change its clothes ten times a year according to the liturgical season. The white colour is reserved for festivals, Christmas and Easter. Red is the colour of the Holy Week, Whitsun and the holiday of St. Cross. Purple represents the time of lent and advent. And the green colour of life and hope that the Infant Jesus wears most often represents the rest of the year.
The Infant Jesus uses nearly 50 pieces of clothes and two crowns. The most precious costumes were donated by Emperor Ferdinand II and Empress Mary Teresa. The entire wardrobe of the Infant Jesus of Prague is part of the cultural heritage of the Czech Republic.
Regular celebrations of the coronation
The current crown above the head of the Infant Jesus was donated by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Prague in 2009. The coronation ceremony of the Infant Jesus takes place the first Sunday in May. It represents the faith in the Infant Jesus as the merciful king of the world. During the coronation weekend, the Infant Jesus of Prague is exhibited in the presbytery where believers can see it.