My last blog featured a long account of the history, along with my own my personal experience, of praying to the Divine Infant of Prague. Here, I now want to provide some prayers, to encourage the practice of devotion to the Infant King.
Key to the birth of this devotion, is Venerable Father Cyril of the Mother of God. He was one of the original Carmelite monks, who received the miraculous statue of the Divine Infant into their monastery in Prague.
He was the first to truly venerate the Divine Infant. Through his passion for encouraging others to pray to the Diving Infant, he is also considered the first promoter of this devotion.
Taken from my last blog, here is his story:
Brother Cyril of the Mother of God was a novice at the time the miraculous statue was donated to the Carmelites of Prague. He particularly favoured the Divine Infant and through prayers and supplications to Him, found incredible relief from intense interior struggles. It was his fervour that inspired the other monks to pray to the Divine Infant.
After a few years, during which the monks prayed devotedly to the Divine Infant, the Thirty Years war disturbed their peace. They were removed to Munich. This included Brother Cyril of the Mother of God.
Those who were left neglected to pray the devotions and the community began to decline. Their Protestant foe broke in and took over the church. The statue of the Divine Infant was thrown onto the floor behind the altar. In this violent act, His hands were broken off. And there He lay hidden, in a heap of rubble, for seven years.
It was in 1637 that the young novice, now Father Cyril of the Mother of God, returned to the convent of Our Lady of Victories in Prague. He searched high and low for his Infant King. On finding the statue, he was beside himself and showed It much affection. Placing It on an altar, he knelt before Him and prayed.
From this moment on, Father Cyril renewed his devotions to the Infant King, again displaying great fervour. At one point, he distinctly heard the Child Jesus speak to Him, saying,
‘Have pity on Me, and I will have pity on you. Give Me My hands, and I will give you peace. The more you honour Me, the more will I bless you.’ (my emphasis)
Through Father Cyril’s impassioned prayers, Heaven responded. Divine Providence provided the necessary funds to repair the broken hands of the statue. Devotion to the Child Jesus of Prague was restored and became more fervent than ever.
Venerable Father Cyril of the Mother of God, wrote several prayers to his Infant King. They express and indicate those particular qualities he experienced whilst in prayer to the Divine Infant. Therefore, his prayers are key to understanding the very nature of this devotion.
Below, are two of his prayers.
A Prayer from Venerable Father Cyril
Jesus; unto Thee I flee,
Through Thy Mother praying Thee
In my need to succour me.
Truly, I believe of Thee
God Thou art with strength to shield me;
Full of trust I hope of Thee
Thou Thy grace wilt give to me.
All my heart I give to Thee,
Therefore, do my sins repent me;
From them breaking, I beseech Thee,
Jesus, from their bonds to free me.
Firm my purpose is to mend me.
Never more will I offend Thee.
Wholly unto Thee I give me,
Patiently to suffer for Thee,
Thee to serve eternally.
And my neighbour like to me
I will love, for love of Thee,
Little Jesus I beseech thee,
In my need to succour me,
That with Joseph and Mary
And the Angels, I may Thee
Once enjoy eternally.
Another Prayer of Venerable Father Cyril
My Jesus, Holy Child, I love in Thee
The Son of God and of the Virgin Mary;
I pray, from present needs deliver me:
For truly do I firmly trust in Thee
That Thou as God canst provide for me.
Wherefore, confidently, I place my hope in Thee
That Thy favours will be granted to me.
Hence with heart and soul I cherish Thee;
Sorrow for my sins deeply grieves me.
Because of them humbly I beseech Thee,
O Jesus, to root them out completely.
I promise never more to offend Thee,
And therefore, Jesus, surrender all to Thee.
My neighbour as myself I love for Thee.
Most powerful Jesus, hear my prayerful plea
To suffer and to serve Thee faithfully,
And I adore and worship Thee accordingly.
Deliver me from this necessity:
That with the Virgin Mother, worthily
Like Joseph and Teresa virgin, Thee
We may enjoy with heaven’s court eternally.
O my Jesus, Jesus, dearest Jesus,
Have mercy on us.
Novena to the Divine Infant of Prague
There is also a tradition of praying a Novena to the Divine Infant, on the nine days that precede the twenty-fifth of each month. Those most important are, of course, the nine days that precede Christmas Day from the 17th to the 25th. This practice was encouraged by Pope Pius IX, who granted an indulgence of one year, to those who prayed this particular Novena.
Roger and I will most certainly pray this Novena and I hope many of you will too. The whole Novena is to be prayed each day.
This novena is as follows:
- Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honour and glory, for my own salvation and that of the whole world, the mystery of the birth of our Divine Saviour. Glory be to the Father, etc.
- Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honour and glory, for my own salvation and that of the whole world, the sufferings of the most holy Virgin and of St. Joseph in that long and weary journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I offer Thee the sorrows of their hearts when thy found no place wherein to shelter themselves when the Saviour of the world was born. Glory be to the Father, etc.
- Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honour and glory, for my own salvation and that of the whole world, the sufferings of Jesus in the stable where He was born, the cold He suffered, the swaddling clothes which bound Him, the tears He shed, and His tender infant cries. Glory be to the Father, etc.
- Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honour and glory, for my own salvation and that of the whole world, the pain which the Holy Child Jesus felt in His tender body when He submitted to circumcision. I offer Thee that Precious Blood which then for the first time He shed for the salvation of the whole human race. Glory be to the Father, etc.
- Eternal Father, I offer to Thy honour and glory, for my own salvation and that of the whole world, the humility, mortification patience, charity, all the virtues of the Child Jesus; and I thank Thee, and I love Thee, and I bless Thee without end for the ineffable mystery of the incarnation of the Divine Word. Glory be to the Father, etc.
V. The Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Let us Pray
O God, whose only-begotten Son was made manifest to us in the substance of our flesh, grant, we beseech Thee, that through Him, whom we acknowledge to be like into ourselves, our souls may be inwardly renewed. Who livest and reignest with Thee forever and ever. Amen.
Other Prayers to the Divine Infant of Prague
As I wrote in my last blog, I have been practising devotions to the Divine Infant of Prague, for almost two years now. My life has been truly changed through this practice, by a sense of grace that is sweet and joyous.
As Canon Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest said, ‘Prayer is a sacramental; it is a mediator of grace’. In other words, the actual practice of praying brings grace. Yet, when I pray to the Divine Infant of Prague, I experience something more. I experience something of the miraculous nature of this particular devotion to the Infant King.
Just as Father Cyril of the Mother of God heard these words from the miraculous statue of Prague, “The more you honour Me, the more I will bless you.” And as Father Ludvik Nemec writes in his book, The Infant Jesus of Prague, ‘This promise … became the cornerstone of this devotion.’ I really feel that He is listening to me and my prayers are being answered.
I pray the following prayer daily. It greatly humbles me. As I kneel before the Divine Infant of Prague statue and recite these petitions, I am placed in awe before this little child – Our God, made man. My heart is deeply touched.
This prayer fills me with humility, as I express my frailty and needs before my God, as the Infant King.
Daily Prayer to the Infant Jesus
O Almighty God, in the form of a little child! Make me, prostrate at the feet of Thy miraculous image, worthy to meditate on Thy greatness and power, Thy goodness and mercy, and Thy majesty as God and man.
O Divine Infant! With the most profound reverence I contemplate Thy Divine countenance, shedding its gentle and forgiving light like the sin on good and bad. Deign, ye friendly eyes of my Jesus, to cast one look of grace upon me, and to give my eyes sincere tears of repentance, that on judgement day they need not fear Thy looks of righteous anger.
O sweetest Jesus! Filled with admiration I praise Thy holy lips, filled with heavenly wisdom and uttering words of grace for the remission of sin. Lest, however, Thy Divine lips might one day be forced to pronounce the sentence of condemnation on me on account of my own words, I beseech Thee, O Lord, place a seal upon my lips, so that they may never be opened to utter an uncharitable opinion or a sinful word; may I ever preserve Thy truth and Thy love in my heart and upon my tongue.
O merciful Infant! With pious fervour I kiss Thy most holy hands, which Thou extendest to hold the entire world in Thy loving embrace. I venerate Thy almighty hand, ruling and governing the universe, and I implore Thee to direct all our works to Thy own honour, and to let Thy right hand be ever extended in blessing over Thy worshipers who confidently pray to Thee.
All hail, ye blessed feet of my Redeemer that have brought peace to the world! What innumerable painful steps you made during thirty-three years, wearying and bruising yourselves for love of me! I thank Thee a thousand times, O Infant Jesus, and I beg of Thee always to direct my feet on the straight road to Thyself, who art the way, the truth, and the life.
O most loving Heart of my Jesus! I greet Thee as many thousand times as Thou didst beat for my salvation. I offer up to my Heavenly Father all the flames of Divine love burning within Thee. Alas, how ashamed must I not feel at the coldness of my own heart, which only with great difficulty and on rare occasions can excite in itself a proper ardour in return for Thy bountiful love! Take away this cold heart of mine and give me one like Thine own, that I may in future love Thee with a love as warm and glowing as Thine.
O my most amiable Jesus! who becamest an infant for my sake, endow me, I pray Thee with the innocence, the humility, and the simplicity of those young souls whom Thou didst call with the words: “Suffer little children to come unto Me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The beauty of Thy countenance, the sweet expression of Thy eyes, Thy smiling lips, Thy love-inflamed Heart, O most beautiful Infant Jesus, excite in me the firm confidence that my hopes will not be disappointed, but that my prayers will find a gracious hearing with Thee, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest one God world without end. Amen.
Litany of the Miraculous Infant of Prague
Finally we have a Litany to the Infant King as follows:
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, HAVE MERCY ON US.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
O miraculous Infant Jesus,
Infant Jesus, true God and Lord,
Infant Jesus, whose omnipotence is
manifested in a wonderful manner,
Infant Jesus, whose wisdom searches
our hearts and minds,
Infant Jesus, whose goodness continually
inclines to aid us,
Infant Jesus, whose providence leads us to
our last end and destiny,
Infant Jesus, whose truth enlightens the
darkness of our hearts,
Infant Jesus, whose generosity enriches our
Infant Jesus, whose friendship consoles
Infant Jesus, whose mercy forgives our sins,
Infant Jesus, whose strength invigorates us,
Infant Jesus, whose power turns away all
Infant Jesus, whose justice deters us
Infant Jesus, whose power conquers hell,
Infant Jesus, whose lovely countenance
attracts our hearts,
Infant Jesus, whose greatness holds the
universe in its hand,
Infant Jesus, whose love-inflamed Heart
kindles our cold hearts,
Infant Jesus, whose miraculous hand raised
in benediction fills us with all blessings,
Infant Jesus, whose sweet and holy Name
rejoices the hearts of the faithful,
Infant Jesus, whose glory fills the whole
world, HAVE MERCY ON US.
Be merciful. Spare us, O Jesus.
Be merciful. Graciously hear us, O Jesus.
From all evil, DELIVER US, O JESUS.
From all sin,
From all distrust in Thy infinite goodness,
From all doubts in Thy power of miracles,
From all lukewarmness in Thy veneration,
From all trials and misfortunes,
Through the mysteries of Thy holy childhood,
DELIVER US, O JESUS.
We sinners beseech Thee, hear us.
Through the intercession of Mary, Thy Virgin
Mother, and St. Joseph, Thy foster father,
WE BESEECH THEE, HEAR US.
That Thou would pardon us,
That Thou would bring us to true repentance,
That Thou would preserve and increase in us
love and devotion to Thy sacred infancy,
That Thou would never withdraw Thy
miraculous hand from us,
That Thou would keep us mindful of Thy
That Thou would inflame us more and more
with love for Thy Sacred Heart,
That Thou would graciously hear all who
call upon Thee with confidence,
That Thou would preserve our country in peace,
That Thou would free us from all impending evils,
That Thou would give eternal life to all
who act generously toward Thee,
That Thou would pronounce a merciful
sentence on us at the judgment,
That Thou would in Thy miraculous image
remain our consoling refuge,
Jesus, Son of God and of Mary, WE BESEECH
THEE, HEAR US.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of
the world, Spare us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of
the world, Graciously hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of
the world, Have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Our Father, etc.
Let us Pray
O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Thy sacred image, we beseech Thee to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Thy tender Heart, so inclined to pity, be softened at our prayers, and grant us that grace for which we ardently implore Thee. Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Thy sacred infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise Thee, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.