About ten years ago I came across a wonderful place online that I immediately longed to visit. The National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague was in Oklahoma, though— too far from home to just drop by one afternoon— so I did the next best thing.
Way better than Calgon, technology can have us there quicker than one can say, “Take me awaaay!” so I clicked on the link to the shrine’s website and imagined myself there.
On our drive back from Wisconsin last October, Steven changed our route on a whim. I doubt he even knew why; but we agreed that it would save us time, something we desperately needed, since we’d both been under the weather the entire trip, me with awful nosebleeds that only South Texas sunshine could remedy. I was sure of that!
Feeling light-headed, I mostly drifted in and out of my wishfulness to be home; so I entertained myself by comparing and contrasting places we drove through, memorizing landforms and landmarks, figuring we wouldn’t be that way again.
Then I saw it!
I couldn’t believe my eyes. A sign announcing the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague?!! Oh, my gosh! I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but I knew I’d read the sign correctly as we’d zipped past it on my right.
Steven wasn’t feeling well at all, so I didn’t want to impose on him by insisting on a detour. Still, without emotion or expectation, containing myself as much as possible, I quietly muttered, “We just passed a sign to the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus.”
I said nothing more, resumed my koala bear existence, and took in the scenery as I immersed myself in NPR’s political commentary once again.
Okay, I thought. Another time, maybe. Right now we just need to get home.
And then, much later on, Steven took an exit.
“Where are we going? Is something wrong?” I asked.
We were headed to Prague, Oklahoma.
Wowza! Another long-held, heartfelt wish come true! I could hardly wait!
St. Wenceslaus Church
Of course, as we’ve discovered during our travels, a shrine is usually, though not always, within a church that serves the parish. In Chicago, for instance, the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus is at St. Pius V, while the Claretian St. Jude Shrine is at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Similarly, the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague is housed within St. Wenceslaus, though, really, they are one and the same, wholly synonymous as a singular sacred space for parishioners and visitors alike.
Letters to Fr. Long Phan
Dearest Christ-child, O divine child, O thou lovely Jesus mine, see thy children would invite thee; come into these hearts of thine. Yes, we know thy place and grandeur, though thou be but weak and small; for we say with deep assurance, thou art Savior of us all.
Powerful novena… O Jesus who has said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened,” through the intercession of Mary, your most holy mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted. (State your request.)
O Jesus who has said, “All that you ask of the Father in my name, he will grant you,” through the intercession of Mary, your most holy mother, I humbly and urgently ask your Father, in your name, that my prayer will be granted. (State your request.)
O Jesus who has said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away,” through the intercession of Mary, your most holy mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted. (State your request.)
This novena can be recited at the same time every hour for nine consecutive hours— just one day— or once daily for nine days.
Thanksgiving… Divine Infant Jesus, I know you love me and would never leave me. I thank you for your close presence in my life.
Miraculous Infant, I believe in your promise of peace, blessings, and freedom from want. I place every need and care in your hands.
Lord Jesus, may I always trust in your generous mercy and love. I want to honor and praise you now and forever. Amen.
Thanks to Cathy Saccente from St. Mary of Victories Church in St. Louis, MO for the booklet, Novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague (Reverend Harry E. Stitz, 1945), from which I took both the Christ-child rhyme and the novena; and to Sister at the Carmelite Monastery in Goonellabah, Australia for the Relic of the True Crib prayer card.
February 6, 2017
A soul of holiness does not strive for that holiness. It strives to love, to love wholeheartedly; there lies the difference…. The simple soul loves; that is all (Raoul Plus, SJ in Holy Simplicity).
Links of interest… Calgon (commercial)… Child Jesus: about / chaplet (more) / devotion / feast / infancy & childhood / meditations / miracles (books) / novena / of good health / photos / questions & answers / reverence / shrine / solemnity… Holy Infant of Prague: about / artifacts / chaplet / feast / history / league / novena / of good health (more) / petitions / prayers… How you & your kids can “become like children”… National Shrine of the Infant Jesus (Prague, OK): facebook / gentle travels / website / YouTube… NPR… Practice of the presence of God… Real mystics love Jesus… Santo Niño de Atocha: about / chapel / history / miracles / origin / prayers / story (more)… Santo Niño de Cebú: basilica / feast (more) / history / homily / novena / origin / prayers / song… St. Wenceslaus: about (more) / king & martyr (more) / memorial
(more) / prayer (more) / profile / professing faith / song (about – lyrics – more) / story…
WP posts… Budding relationships… Celebrations… Christmas year ’round… Connected tangents… Faith and prayer… Forever grateful… God’s loving mercy… Making meaning… On being Christian… Pink divinity… Promise of hope… Santo Niño… St. Anthony Claret… Sweet Jesus… Venerable Margaret
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