00 9/14/2009 6:27 PM

Pope Benedict to present gift to Child of Prague statuette

Child of Prague will receive new gold crown

First steps of Benedict XVI in Czech Republic will lead to Prague’s famous place of pilgrimage which is visited by hundred of pilgrim from tens of countries. To visit Church of Our Lady Victorious in Karmelitska Street (street is named after Carmelite Monastery to which church belongs) and pay respect to Child of Prague statuette, popular especially in Hispanic world, was personal wish of Holy Father. After bowing and praying in front of statuette, he’ll hand Child of Prague his gift.

Traditional custom is to give Child of Prague clothing with royal attributes. It is reported to have about hundred of outfits, many of which have been donated as express of gratitude by worshipers round the world. The statuette has two golden crowns; first coronation took place in 1651. Prior of Carmelite Monastery by Child of Prague Pater Petr Šleich says: “Coronation with crown given by pope is the highest liturgical esteem, which Child of Prague could be given.

According to legend, Child Jesus miraculously appeared to Spanish monk who shaped statuette then. Another story tells statuette belonged to property of Saint Theresa of Jesus. Historical fact is statuette of Child Jesus was given to Duchess Maria Marinque de Lara (Spanish noblewoman who married Czech aristocrat) as wedding gift from her mother. Her daughter famous Czech noblewoman Polyxena von Lobkowicz then gifted precious statuette in 1628 to Carmelite Monastery by Church of Our Lady Victorious.