Examining a Catholic devotional juju: The Infant Jesus of Prague statue

Yesterday, I wrote in general about un-Biblical Catholic devotion fetishes (see here), but today, I would like to focus on one devotion in particular; the Infant Jesus of Prague statue.

Several days ago, I was listening to the 9/5/18 podcast of the “Called To Communion” Catholic talk radio show and Joelle from Oklahoma City phoned in at the 41:25 mark stating she was a convert from Presbyterianism to Catholicism. She said she had a hard time initially accepting Catholic devotions, especially the Infant Jesus of Prague. The National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague in the U.S.A. is located just one hour away from OKC in Prague, Oklahoma. Joelle stated that she has since come to love the Infant Jesus of Prague devotion. Show host, David Anders, followed up by saying Catholics are free to pick and choose from the church’s many devotions and are not obligated to adopt the Infant Jesus of Prague devotion.

Evangelical Protestants may not be familiar with it, but most Roman Catholics are certainly familiar with the Infant Jesus of Prague; a statue of child Jesus clothed in red imperial regalia with the left hand holding a globe of the world and the right hand in a posture of benediction.

The original 19″ tall statue (see photo) traces back to the 16th-century and it currently resides at Our Lady of Victory church in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1628, noblewoman Polyxena of the House of Lobkowicz donated the statue to the church and a devoted cult following quickly grew, claiming miraculous healings and blessings. Pilgrims from afar began visiting the church and statue. Versions of the statue eventually proliferated throughout Catholicism. Many American Catholic families display an imitation Infant Jesus of Prague statue in their homes for protection and blessings as a superstitious juju. Various versions are readily available from Amazon (see here).

We already know that having a statue of Jesus as an object of worship is anti-Biblical. But why this fixation on Jesus as a young child? Pagan religions all had their versions of the mother goddess and her infant son as objects of worship. In Egypt, the mother and child were worshiped as Isis and Osiris, in Babylon as Ishtar and Tammuz, in Phoenicia as Ashtoreth and Baal, in India as Isi and Iswara, in China and Japan as the mother goddess Shing-moo with child, in Greece as Ceres or Irene and Plutus, in Rome as Fortuna and Jupiter, or Venus and Adurnis, and in Scandinavia as Frigga and Balder. Pagans were very fond of worshiping the mother goddess and her son and Rome adapted this extremely popular cult into the worship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and infant Jesus. Worship of the infant Jesus apart from his mother was a predictable next step.

A standard novena “prayer” to the statue juju was formulated for supplicants seeking blessings. The intercession of Mary figures prominently in the “prayer.” See here.

Postscript: One of my sisters had an Infant Jesus of Prague statue on the top of her dresser back when I was growing up. She’s now an atheist. She liked her infant Jesus juju for a period, but she didn’t know Jesus Christ as her Savior.

Infant Jesus of Prague – Wikipedia article
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_Jesus_of_Prague

Our Lady of Victory church in Prague, Czech Republic – Official website
https://www.pragjesu.cz/en/

A stroll through the Our Lady of Victory church’s online gift shop is a revealing education in Catholic superstition. See here.

7 thoughts on “Examining a Catholic devotional juju: The Infant Jesus of Prague statue

    1. Thanks. Yes, it’s pretty blatant idolatry and superstition. Catholics buy the statue and then take it to their priest for him to bless it. They then set it up at home as a shrine thinking it will protect the house and occupants.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m grateful that you “get it” in regards to Catholicism’s un-Biblical beliefs and practices. I’m guessing that the majority of evangelical pastors these days would tend to avoid and overlook examinations of these Catholic distinctives because to focus on them would be interpreted by many as uncharitable and divisive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ” I’m guessing that the majority of evangelical pastors these days would tend to avoid and overlook examinations of these Catholic distinctives because to focus on them would be interpreted by many as uncharitable and divisive.” True.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Crissy. Catholics are inured to blatant idolatry like this infant Jesus statue because such things are so deeply ingrained within their religion. After a Catholic accepts Christ and faithfully gets into His Word, they can’t remain amidst such idolatry.

      Liked by 1 person

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